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raina telgemeier

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday invites bookish bloggers to share lists based on a given topic. This week, I’m featuring both my own graphic novel recommendations and those that have been *highly* suggested to me!

The Lists

I Recommend…

Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan – OMG is about all I can say about the Saga series! The first graphic novel I ever picked up and laid eyes on, volume one introduced me to one of my newest top favorite genres. Immediately after reading this first installment, I set my sights on collecting each book in the series, which includes seven, with volume eight releasing in January 2018. 

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier – The first book I’ve read by Telgemeier is different from any other graphic novel I’ve read, or book for that matter. Dealing with spirits, of course, as well as a little sister with a life-transforming illness, Ghosts opened my eyes to more than I ever expected.

The Walking Dead, Volume 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman – Now, I gave up on The Walking Dead TV series on AMC – it got silly and incredibly convoluted after a couple of seasons. However, with the graphic novels, of which I’ve read four volumes as of this typing, I actually understand who the characters are and what in the hell is happening with the plot!

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire – Moon Knight, Vol. 1 left me confused, asking many questions, and wanting more! Dabbling in Egyptian mythology, this series, although I’ve read only volume one thus far, blows me away!

Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan – It’s no secret that I love Vaughan’s work, after all, I did start out with his Saga series, as mentioned above and Paper Girls is no exception. With a premise I wasn’t expecting, I’m very anxious to continue this series and read volume two before number three releases in August.

Recommended to Me…

Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill – First of all, I discovered that Joe Hill is in fact the son of Stephen King, whose novel, The Stand, I have been working my way through since June! I am fascinated by King’s writing style and am really excited to get to Hill’s graphic novel series, which has come very highly recommended. I’m hopeful that Locke and Key has horror elements; I mean, hell, King’s books are horror-based after all!

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu – I’m also really excited to get to Liu’s series! Not only are the titles and covers appealing, I keep seeing rave reviews for Liu’s work everywhere I turn – bookishly speaking, of course!

Assassins Creed, Vol. 1: Trial by Fire by Anthony Del Col – I’ve never played an Assassins Creed game nor read a book based on the story, so I’m looking forward to finding out what this series is all about!

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya – Another recommended series, Fruits Basket has an appealing title – I’m a sucker for titles and covers – and seems very different from the graphic novels I’ve read so far.

With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child, Vol. 1 by Keiko Tobe – I’m mainly interested in this series because my older brother is autistic and I have been by his side throughout his journey – we are merely 15 months apart. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how autism is covered in a graphic manner.

Love, Maggie

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Reading Challenge

Challenged

Well, I’ve been doing four challenges pretty much simultaneously over the past month or so. I must pat myself on the back – as y’all know by now, I’m shitty at finishing challenges – but, I ALMOST completed one! Yay! The others, I didn’t do so well on, probably due to my wandering eye when it comes to books and the fact that I chose to sign up for SO many concurrent challenges!

I almost finished the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge, hosted by the lovely Olivia at The Candid Cover. Out of a whopping ten books I picked for the read-a-thon, I actually read six – which is unheard of for me! I think I did better at this challenge than the others that have wrapped up because it was a month-long event. But, I’m thrilled to have those six books wiped off my TBR list!

This was the first time I’d found the amazing Alphabethon, hosted by a handful of awesome Twitter book lovers – @banterbooks, @KayteSays, @Kris_Marie7, @adlelinereads_, @thesmolprincess, and @callmesensei14. This round, number three, highlighted books/authors/topics/etc. beginning with the letter C. I tried to take it easy on this one, picking four books; however, I managed to finish only one and at least started a second. I’m excited for round four, which will focus on D books!

I also spent at least a month gearing up for the ultra cool Make Me Read It read-a-thon, co-hosted by the brilliant Val from The Innocent Smiley and Ely over at Tea & Titles. I was seriously overambitious with this one, in which voters pick the order in which each participant is to read X number of books in a week.

Well, I went wild and chose seven books as my contenders. I managed to get through exactly zero tales! LOL! I did start the winner, Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass, which I really like, but haven’t finished. I had a total blast watching how the votes fell! Thanks to all who voted – I at least have seven books on my newly revamped TBR list!

Now, I’m participating in #ARCAugust, hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat, which, thankfully, lasts all month! I’m doing well with this challenge – *knock on wood* – as nearly all of my ARCs are pretty short! I actually blew through two of them today! I finished my first ARC of the month, which also satisfied my sole completed self-imposed book for Alphabethon, Tamara Ireland Stone’s Click’d

In September, I’m doing the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon, hosted by Wishful Endings. I’m excited that this challenge will take place over the course of about two weeks, so surely I’ll get through at least most of it!

I’ve chosen to read only Stephen King books for Tackle Your TBR – I started reading the enormously amazing The Stand back in June, pledging to finish it by September anyhow, so the King idea struck me like a bolt of lightning!

Following is a breakdown of the challenges I tried, the one I’m currently trying, and the one I’m going to be trying next month:

The Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge

What I planned to read – 

What I Actually Read –

Alphabethon

What I Planned to Read –

  • Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone
  • Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tales for Troubled Children by Angus Oblong
  • The Secrets of My Life: A History by Caitlyn Jenner
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

What I Actually Read –

Make Me Read It

What I Planned to Read –

What I Actually Started to Read –

#ARCAugust

What I Plan to Read –

What I’ve Read Thus Far –

Tackle Your TBR

What I Plan to Read –

So, there you have it, folks – my ups and downs regarding my just finished [sort of], current, and upcoming reading challenges! Obviously, if I want to actually complete read-a-thons and meet my preset goals, I need to lower my expectations of myself and [maybe] not participate in SO many at once! 😀

I wrote a post earlier in the year, Pulling the Plug, in which I discussed my decision to ditch year-long challenges for the year, save for the penultimate Goodreads challenge. I’m already planning for 2018 and I think I’m going to return to attempting one – or a few – 365-day challenges, while participating – mildly – in shorter read-a-thons!

Happy reading to all and good luck with YOUR challenges, whether they take place year-round, for a month [or more], or for a week or two! 😀

Love, Maggie 

Reading Challenge

Summer TBR Wipeout Update, Part Two

Hey, y’all! It’s already time for the second update of the amazing Summer TBR Wipeout Challenge, hosted by Olivia at The Candid Cover! In my first update, I explained that I had been doing well with reading the books I pledged to read throughout the challenge and I’m happy to report that I’m still making steady progress!

Over the past week or so, I finished three more of the ten books I committed to reading during the challenge. The first book I completed was the adorable cozy mystery A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander. Let me just say that I absolutely adore Alexander’s series, A Bakeshop Mystery; this is the second installment and I loved it so much! 

Next, I read Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan, which I also totally loved – it’s part of a graphic novel series with which I’m in awe. The first graphic novel series I’ve ever read, it totally turned me on to the genre. 

Speaking of graphic novels, I finally had the chance to read the first in the graphic novel editions of Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club, Kristy’s Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier. Let’s just say I’m very much looking forward to reading more of Telgemeier’s work! [The first book I read by Telgemeier was Ghostsfor which you can find my review HERE.]

With my completion of these three books, I have four more to read in my quest to finish the challenge: The Secrets of My Life: A History by Caitlyn Jenner, Angus Oblong’s Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tales for Troubled ChildrenThe Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg, and The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King.

Thus far, my strategy of choosing graphic novels and pretty short books has paid off well, as I’ve actually been able to finish more than half of my picks within a time frame of a couple of weeks. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have historically had much difficulty in actually completing reading challenges and *knock on wood*, this will be the first challenge I will see all the way through!

The only book I’m a little nervous about finishing is Jenner’s memoir, as I have it in audiobook format and I’m so bad about falling asleep while listening to books! However, I plan to persevere and save it for last, so as to focus solely on it while hoping I can find the time to listen during the day, ideally while I’m busy with housework or something along those lines.

In conclusion, I’m seriously proud of my challenge progress and look forward to completing the first reading challenge to which I’ve committed! Ending August 13, I’m pretty confident that I will finish this challenge!

Love, Maggie

Reading Challenge

Summer TBR Wipeout Update

I can’t believe it’s already time to post the first update for the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge, hosted by Olivia at The Candid Cover! This month has zipped by, but, luckily, I’ve done decently well with working toward my challenge goal of reading ten books from my TBR list! [You can find my full challenge TBR list HERE.]

As you can see from my challenge TBR list, I chose to read mainly short-ish books and graphic novels throughout the summer wipeout. Thus far, I’ve completed three books and I’m working my way through the fourth!

The only book I foresee having an issue with is Caitlyn Jenner’s memoir, The Secrets of My Life: A History, not because of the content, but because it’s an audiobook – I always have trouble focusing and staying awake while listening! However, I LOVE celebrity memoirs and am really looking forward to reading Jenner’s, I just know it may be a struggle!

Anyhow, I’ve finished Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, which I absolutely adored! [My review can be found HERE.] I also completed Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire and The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene, about my favorite girl detective, Nancy Drew. I enjoyed both Lemire’s and Keene’s tales – I’m so proud of my picks for this challenge! LOL! 😀

I started Ellie Alexander’s A Batter of Life and Death, a sweet cozy mystery, yesterday and I’m making good progress on it – it’s fast-paced and fun! I’ve also listened to the introduction of Jenner’s memoir, so I’ve kind of started it too, although I haven’t continued listening to it yet.

So, I’m nearly halfway through my TBR list and with the challenge officially ending in a month, I’m pretty confident that I’ll actually finish this challenge, which will be a first for me! 😀

How are y’all doing with the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge? I hope you’re doing well and are happy with your picks! Drop me a line and let me know about your progress – I’d love to visit your update posts! Good luck to all on the rest of the readathon! I’ll be posting my next update during the week of July 29; hopefully, I’ll be well on my way to blowing out my TBR list by then!

Love, Maggie

Book Review

Ghosts

GhostsGhosts by Raina Telgemeier
Published by Graphix on September 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade
Pages: 256
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy at The Book Depository
Goodreads

THERE'S SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS TOWN...

Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake -- and her own.

Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.

I read Raina Telgemeier’s Ghosts in ALMOST a single day – it’s fast moving, the illustrations are precious and fun, the story is heartwarming, and there is just a tiny hint of romance. Centering around Cat and her little sister, Maya, the tale encompasses a variety of themes, among them cystic fibrosis and Latin American culture.

I may have mentioned before that I LOVE to learn as I read and that I did. The story focuses a lot on The Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on November 1st and, as the name suggests, honors those whom have passed away and seeks to invite spirits to be comfortable in the world.

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that I knew very little about prior to reading Ghosts. Maya, the younger sister, is very outgoing and is pretty much the total opposite of her healthy, older sister, Cat. In spite of her sickness, Maya is incredibly upbeat and adventurous.

The tale begins with the girls’ family moving to a seaside town in California, mainly for the fresher air to help with Maya’s cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs as well as the digestive system, of which I was totally unaware.

While Maya adjusts quickly to their new home and is anxious for adventure, Cat takes a while to adjust. While out walking on one of their first days in their new town, the siblings encounter Carlos, a boy whom tells the sisters about the town’s rich history of celebrating The Day of the Dead as well as its ghostly population.

Cynical at first, Cat blows off Carlos completely, while Maya embraces him and the town’s culture immediately. However, when Maya becomes severely ill and must rest for quite some time, Cat ventures out on her own, makes friends at school, and even begins to embrace The Day of the Dead and the town’s other traditions. 

While there is a hint of sadness in the story, Ghosts left me feeling optimistic and hopeful, just like Maya. It was fun to read about Cat’s evolution and eventual adjustment to her new hometown. Cat transforms from being a negative cynic into a positive role model for Maya. Heartwarming and enjoyable, I very highly recommend this book and I cannot wait to read more of Telgemeier’s work!

Love, Maggie

Reading Challenge

My Summer TBR List

As I mentioned in my original Summer TBR Wipeout post, I’m back with my list of books I plan (hope) to read throughout the challenge, which is hosted by The Candid Cover. I toyed with the idea of solely reading through my pile of graphic novels, but I’ve decided to mix it up a bit with choices ranging from audiobooks to paperbacks.

Hopefully, I’m not being overly ambitious with my list! I have a poor track record where reading challenges are concerned; I’m bad to give up on them or forget about them completely.

However, instead of pressuring myself too much and throwing in the towel regarding this challenge, I’m going to approach it in a casual manner. Fingers crossed, my not putting pressure on myself to read every single book on my list will inspire me to actually complete the challenge!

I’ve decided to include the page numbers of each tale, so as to help me rein in my typically failing over-achiever approach to challenges! 😀

The TBR List

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier [graphic novel; 256 pages]

The Secrets of My Life: A History by Caitlyn Jenner

Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tales for Troubled Children by Angus Oblong [graphic novel; 176 pages]

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg [paperback; 222 pages]

The Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King [graphic novel; 136 pages]

Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier [graphic novel; 192 pages]

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: Lunatic by Jeff Lemire [graphic novel; 120 pages]

Saga, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan [graphic novel; 152 pages]

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander [paperback; 304 pages]

The Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene [ebook; 202 pages]

Well, I ended up coming up with a whopping ten books to read starting today, July 1st; the challenge will end the week of August 13. Since I chose books in a variety of genres, although I notice I did go with quite a few graphic novels after all, I think with the lower page counts that I’ll actually be able to finish this challenge and truly wipe out at least a bit of my TBR list!

Good luck to everyone participating in the Summer TBR Wipeout challenge! If you stop by, please leave a link to your introduction post – if you’re participating – I’d love to follow along with you as you progress! 😀

Love, Maggie