My May 2018 Book Haul

GOOD NEWS

I’ve completed one of my 2018 book resolutions: read three YA books!

  1. 23:27 by H.L Roberts (January 2018)
  2. Brazen by Pénélope Bagieu (April 2018)
  3. Hurricane Kiss byDeborah Blumenthal (February 2018)

One goal down, two more to go! Now, here’s my May 2018 book haul!

ADULT NON-FICTION

NEW AGE/METAPHYSICAL

1. The Hermetica by Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy (5/5 stars) (review)

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Interested in mystical philosophy? Read The Hermetica. This book is a condensed version of the Corpus Hermeticum, a collection of writings from the legendary Hermes Trismegistus.

For readers into:

  • Ancient Egyptian philosophy
  • Esoteric wisdom
  • Hermes Trismegistus

2. The Sariel Crystals by Frederick A. Elder (3.5/5 stars) (review)

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Before Sariel left our planet eons ago, he left 14 crystals for humanity. The crystals were never found.

Sariel reveals his position as an “Earth Watcher” and the missing pieces of history you won’t find in any mainstream history textbook.

For readers into:

  • Alternative ancient history
  • Channeled books
  • Extraterrestrials

SELF-HELP

1. The Attractor Factor by Joe Vitale (4/5 stars)

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Everybody wants money to fall in their lap with ease. It can be hard nowadays with unsuccessful job searches and disappointing careers with low wages. It doesn’t have to be that way forever.

Joe Vitale believes money is attracted to those with the right energy and mindset. Use the tips in this book and your finances might change for the better.

I’ve written tons of notes from this book. Law of attraction followers will love it.

For readers into:

  • Affirmations
  • The Law of Attraction
  • Self-help books

WRITING

1. Write Faster, Write Better by David A. Fryxell (3/5 stars)

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I’ve felt Writer Faster, Write Better was too long even though I enjoyed the material. The key lessons I’ve learned is to cut the crap while editing and get straight to the questions you want to be answered during the research process.

Don’t forget: outlines are your best friends!

For readers into:

  • Books about writing
  • Writing faster
  • Non-fiction writing

2. Writing Feature Stories by Matthew Ricketson & Caroline Graham(4/5 stars) (review)

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I thought Writing Feature Stories was a mistake. At first, it started out as a book focusing on magazine writing, but it turned to blog writing topics (why I checked this out).

Since this book was published in Australia, there are many references you won’t understand. Don’t let it discourage you from reaching its valuable writing tips. This book has helpful “how to write reviews” infographics too. I forgot to scan them before I returned the book to the library.

For readers into:

  • Learning how to compose great interview articles
  • Perfecting the article research process
  • Writing for magazines and blogs

COMICS/GRAPHIC NOVELS

MARVEL

1. Infinity Incoming by Stan Lee (3/5 stars)

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After watching Avengers: Infinity Wars, I’ve been hunting down any comics I could find about Thanos. Infinity Incoming is a compilation of comics somewhat related to the Infinity Wars.

One story shows Thanos when he was a kind, genius kid. A tragic event changed him forever into the mad villain we know today.

Thanos’ mother almost killed him when he was born. From the beginning, she knew Thanos was bound to be a destructive force upon the entire universe.

For readers into:

  • The Avengers
  • The Inhumans
  • Marvel comics

2. Thanos: The Infinity Revelation by Jim Starlin (3/5 stars)

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In The Infinity Revelation, Thanos brings back his archrival Warlock to life to do some cosmic multi-dimensional business. This comic is not for the Marvel noob like myself, but it’s still worth the read.

For readers into:

  • Alternative/multi-dimensional reality themes
  • Marvel supervillains
  • Thanos

3. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl v.1 – “Squirrel Power” by Ryan North (3/5 stars)

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Squirrel girl? Marvel seriously made a hero named Squirrel Girl?

Doreen Green has been on Marvel’s pages since 1991. Will she make an appearance in the Marvel films? A Netflix series at least. Reading this comic has certainly given me hopes.

For readers into:

  • Marvel comics
  • Squirrel Girl
  • Superheroines

ORIGINAL

1. California Dreamin’ by Pénélope Bagieu (3.5/5 stars)

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Have you heard of “California Dreamin” by the Mamas & Papas? I heard the song before, but I didn’t know Cass Elliott or the band’s history.

Penelope Bagieu has created an intimate story about Elliott’s life making her way to stardom despite facing family loss, her weight, and band drama.

For readers into:

  • The 60s music scene
  • Biography comics
  • Comics featuring female leads

2. Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu (2/5 stars) (review)

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I didn’t know what was going on with Exquisite Corpse. The main character complained through all her problems and received a happy ending for doing nothing.

Yeah, no. I love Pénélope Bagieu’s works, but this story was meh.

For readers into:

  • Comics with female leads
  • Romantic comedies (This was supposed to be one?)
  • Stories set in Paris

3. Paper Girls v. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan (4/5 stars)

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Every Paper Girls volume I’ve read so far has taken me deeper into a world full of time-traveling plot twists! I love it!

For readers into:

  • Sci-fi comics
  • Suburban kids on grand adventures
  • Time-travel stories

I also read: Paper Girls 1, 2, & 3

What was in your May book haul? Comment below your list or post a link to your haul post!

Related posts:

(Book pics: Amazon)

(GIF source: GIPHY)

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BOOK REVIEW: “Exquisite Corpse” by Penelope Bagieu

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  • Title: Exquisite Corpse (Amazon) (Goodreads)
  • Author: Pénélope Bagieu
  • Publication: First Second (May 5, 2015)
  • Pages: 128
  • Genre: Romance, Graphic Novels/Comics
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: 2/5 stars

Exquisite Corpse rubbed me off the wrong way. The story is meant to be a romantic comedy, but I found it mildly frustrating. The lead character is a lazy protagonist. She didn’t do much to get her happy ending and the way she got it was, well, I’ll try not to spoil it.

LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING

You’re introduced to Zoe’s not-so-wonderful life in Paris. She’s stuck in a dead-end job as a spokesmodel. Occasionally, creepy men would ask for her picture and cop a feel.

After work, Zoe returns to her apartment to her no-good boyfriend. He doesn’t do much but watches TV all day and badmouths her.

via Mental Floss

 

This is not Zoe’s dream life. She wants a better life with a boyfriend who’s glad to listen to all her problems and surprise her in the mornings with breakfasts in bed.

The problem: you don’t exactly see Zoe’s character transformation. All she does is cries and complains.

HERE COMES THOMAS

A glimmer of light shines upon Zoe’s crumbling love life when she meets Thomas Rocher, a writer. Thomas doesn’t like going out. He rather stays in his home and write all day.

If he wants something to eat, it’s delivered to him.

Zoe gets tired of staying indoors with Thomas. She wants to go out during the day together like all normal couples do in the famous city of love.

Things take a sharp turn when Zoe meets Thomas’ editor and ex-wife Agathe. What she reveals about Thomas changes Zoe’s mind forever.

THE BIG SECRET

You’re probably dying to know what Zoe figured out about her perfect boyfriend writer. All I have to say is she takes his greatest secret and ruthlessly uses it against him in the end.

Out of thin air, Zoe becomes a renowned writer. Where did this come from? How did she get into this spot? You don’t ever see her writing. Zoe says herself she has never been into a bookstore!

You don’t see Zoe’s character arc, her trials and tribulations, none of that! If you read Exquisite Corpse, you’ll see how it worked out, but still be puzzled.

I felt sorry for Thomas, then again, he wasn’t much a better character himself. Thomas didn’t see Zoe as a new love interest, but a temporary muse. He has been in a writer’s stint until Zoe came into his life.

Nothing matters more to Thomas than his writing and his book reviews. It doesn’t matter if anybody close to him feels left out in the process. You’ll know why Agathe left him.

CONCLUSION

Exquisite Corpse’s good to read once. The book doesn’t stop me from reading Pénélope Bagieu’s works. I loved Brazen, and I’m looking forward to reading California Dreamin.

I wish Zoe was more of an active character. It’s okay to complain at first, but please, do something about it! I truly wanted to see Zoe succeed.

 Exquisite Corpse left me going, “WTF?”

Have you read Exquisite Corpse? Comment below your thoughts.

Related book reviews & articles:

My April 2018 Book Haul

Can I read up to book #100 by the end of this spring?

If you’re new to this blog, I’ve set up a Goodreads challenge reading 333 books this year. I’ve read 51 books (including comics & manga) so far.

How many books you’ve read so far this year? How about this April? Here’s my book haul for April 2018.

ADULT FICTION

1. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (3/5 stars) (review)

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A travel journalist’ cruise assignment goes wrong after she witnesses a murder. A Woman in Cabin 10 is a decent thriller. I wish the journalist would stop drinking though.

For readers into:

  • Cruise murder mysteries
  • Ruth Ware
  • Thrillers

ADULT NON-FICTION

1. How to Write and Sell for Fun and Profit by Robert W. Bly (3.5/5 stars) (review)

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How to Write for and Sell offers expert advice for freelance writers to produce their writings on various platforms (DVDs, seminars, e-books, etc.) and grow their income out of it.

Another book I read by the same author: The Secrets of a Freelance Writer.

Key points:

  • Freelance writing is not exclusively for magazine, newspaper, and online publications.
  • Always do twice the research expected.
  •  Educate your readers.

For readers into:

  • Freelance Writing
  • Having a full-time writing career
  • Writing

2. The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel (4.5/5 stars)

The Master Key System

Do you know you have an infinite power within you? In The Master Key System, Charles F. Haanel reveals the keys to harnessing the awesome power of your mind and changing your reality. Nothing like The Matrix, but a similar concept.

I also read: Mental Chemistry by Charles F. Haanel (review)

Key points:

  • Thought is the creation of all form.
  • The mind is infinite.
  • Hone your mind with concentration and the universe will lead you to your desires.

For readers into:

  • Mentalism
  • New Thought
  • New Thought writers

3. Mind Mapping for Dummies by Florian Rustler (3/5 stars)

Mind-mapping is an organization tool used to outline your ideas into connecting thought bubbles and branches. This planning method has helped me with a couple of writing projects.  Check out Google for examples.

Key point:

  • Humans take in visual information easier than most forms.

For readers into:

  • “For Dummies” books
  • Mind organization
  • Mind-mapping

COMICS/GRAPHIC NOVELS

1. Brazen by Penelope Bagieu (4/5 stars)

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Penelope Bagieu creates a remarkable graphic novel about historical women barely mentioned in mainstream history. Famous figures include Nelly Bly, Katia Krafft, Betty Davis, and Agnodice.

For readers into:

  • Biographic graphic novels
  • Comics/Graphic novels
  • Women’s History

2. Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll (4/5 stars)

Speak: The Graphic Novel

I remember being furious reading the original novel Speak as a teen. The story’s fantastic, but the narrator’s day-to-day conflict was frustrating. High school can be tough. Remaining silent about sexual assault only adds salt to the wound.

For readers into:

  • Comics/graphic novels
  • YA books
  • YA graphic novels

3. Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag (3/5 stars)

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Witch Boy takes a magical spin on gender roles and how ridiculous they can be.

Males are shapeshifters. Females are spellcasters. Aster is supposed to follow the shapeshifter’s path, but he’s more interested in spells healing broken bones and scrying.

When an ancient evil loom rears its ugly head and threatens his family, Aster puts his witchcraft to the test despite his family’s warnings.

For readers into:

  • Comics/graphic novels
  • Fantasy comics
  • Witches in comics

Comment below your April 2018 Book Haul. Feel free to a post a link to your blog post if you’ve made one. 😉

Related posts:

My March 2018 Book Haul

March was self-help month. It wasn’t intentional, I promise you!

Here’s what I had in my March 2018 book haul.

Adult Non-Fiction

1. 2,000 to 10,000 by Rachel Aaron (5/5 stars) (review)

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How do you raise your daily word count? Rachel Aaron’s book shows you the secrets to longer writing without the stress.

Key points:

  • Practice daily writing.
  • Record your daily writing activities.
  • Time, knowledge, and enthusiasm are the keys to bigger word counts.

For readers into:

  • NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month)
  • Writing
  • Writing books

2. 10 Pillars of Wealth by Alex Becker (5/5 stars) (review)

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Frustrated with the massive military workload and low pay, Alex Becker taught himself SEO.  Now,  he’s a wildly successful online entrepreneur.

Key points:

  • One source of income is not enough to ride down millionaire highway.
  • Passive income is essential for financial freedom.
  • Your primary financial goal is to separate time from work.
  • The more hours you put into your dream goals, the more likely they’ll turn into reality.

For readers into:

  • Business & Finances
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Online entrepreneurship

3. The Keys by DJ Khaled (3/5 stars)

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You might’ve heard of DJ Khaled’s inspirational talks. In The Keys, he shares his life rising in Miami’s music industry and what you can do to succeed.

Key points:

  • Work and success never stop.
  • Opportunities lead to more opportunities.
  • Don’t listen to “they” (DJ Khaled’s version of haters).

For readers into:

  • Biographies
  • DJ Khaled
  • Self-help books

4. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod (3/5 stars) (review)

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The premise of The Miracle Morning: seize the morning!

Key points:

  • Use the morning to read, write, visualize, exercise, and meditate.
  • Pass your limits.
  • Waking up early equals success mornings.

For readers into:

  • Early bird habits
  • Productivity
  • Self-help

5. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport (5/5 stars) (review)

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Passion alone won’t make your career dreams come true. So Good They Can’t Ignore You gives you all the reasons why shouldn’t fall into the passion trap.

Key points:

  • Increase your skills sets.
  • “Follow your passion” is a lie.
  • Make yourself valuable to the point your employer would hate to see you leave their side.

For readers into:

  • Career development
  • Productivity
  • Self-help

Other books I read by this author: Deep Work.

6. Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg (3/5 stars) (review)

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Personally, Smarter, Faster, Better wasn’t as thrilling as The Power of Habit, but it’s still worth the reading time.

Key points:

  • You have control over your actions.
  • Creativity solves problems.
  • Productivity: trading energy for the most meaningful reward.

For readers into:

  • Non-Fiction books
  • Productivity
  • Self-Help

Other books I read by this author: The Power of Habit.

Comics/Graphic Novels

1 – 2. The Adventures of Tintin volumes 6 & 7 by Hergé (3/5 stars)

Image result for the adventures of tintin volume 6Image result for the adventures of tintin volume 7 amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories include:

Volume 6

  • Land of Black Gold
  • Destination Moon
  • Explorers of the Moon

Volume 7

  • The Castafiore Emerald
  • Flight 714 to Sydney
  • Tintin and the Picaros

For readers into:

  • Adventure comics
  • European comics
  • Tintin

Past volumes I’ve read in this series: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.

Teen Non-Fiction

1. Career for Tech Girls in Video Game Development by Laura La Bella (4/5 stars)

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Do you know the leading women in the gaming industry? I didn’t know a woman is behind the Halo franchise.

Career for Tech Girls in Video Game Development offers readers (particularly young females) tips to start a career in the gaming industry.

Key points:

  • Colleges offering video game-related degrees: NYU, Drexel, MIT, and SCAD (my alma mater).
  • Video game companies to work for: Capcom, Blizzard Entertainment, HAL Laboratory, Atari, Square Soft, and Konami.

For readers into:

  • Females in the gaming industry
  • Video game careers
  • Video games

What have you read in March 2018?

 Past book hauls:

The Many Times Tintin Almost Died (Part 2)

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You’d think Tintin would take a break after reading Part 1, right? That’s only the beginning. Tintin creator Hergé wrote new adventures for our young Belgian reporter.

You know what that means? New dangers!

Here are the many times Tintin almost died (Part 2).

Red Rackham’s Treasure

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After gathering Sir Francis Haddock’s clues in The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin and the gang sail to the West Indies to find Red Rackham’s long-lost treasure.

Almost died: 2 times

  1. Trapped in a one-man submarine tangled in seaweed
  2. Shark attack

The Seven Crystal Balls

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Seven explorers end up in mysterious comas after their archaeological dig in Peru. This case leads Tintin into a strange journey filled with ancient curses and creepy Inca mummies.

Almost died: Once (surprisingly enough)

  1. Shooting standoff

Prisoners of the Sun

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Tintin and Captain Haddock travel to Peru to further solve an Inca curse and find their kidnapped buddy Professor Calculus.

Almost died: 8 times

  1. Avalanche
  2. Saving Snowy from being condor food
  3. Hungry crocodiles
  4. Falling down a waterfall
  5. Shooting
  6. Angry Incas
  7. Attempted stabbing
  8. Pyre burning

Land of Black Gold

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Detectives Thompson & Thomson’s car explodes after a pit stop at a local gas station. Cars have been blowing up all over the country due to tainted gas.

Tintin heads out to the Middle East to sort out the problem.

Almost died: 2 times

  1. Dehydration in the desert (didn’t he learn from The Crab with the Golden Claws?)
  2. Shot in the face while unconscious

Destination Moon

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 Professor Calculus invites Tintin to a secret base in Syldavia to show off his upcoming moon project.

 

Almost died: Once

  1. Gunshot graze through the skull

Explorers on the Moon

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Tintin experiences his first interstellar journey to the moon. Of course, unexpected obstacles soon follow.

Almost died: 3 times

  1. Falling into a moon crater in a space tank
  2. Saving drunk Captain Haddock from becoming an asteroid’s satellite
  3. Dying inside a space rocket trying to put it on autopilot

 

You think Tintin’s had enough? Wait until you see how he cheats death in Part Three coming soon!

What is your favorite Tintin story?

Related Articles:

The Many Times Tintin Almost Died (Part 1)

The Adventures of Tintin in a nutshell.

I’ve been a fan of The Adventures of Tintin cartoon since I was a kid. I always wanted to travel with Tintin. Now, not so much. It’s crazy how many times Tintin (and Snowy) almost died in the comics.

Take a look:

Tintin in America 

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Tintin uncovers Chicago’s criminal underworld.

Almost died: 9 times

  1. Dumped into Lake Michigan
  2. Chased off a cliff
  3. Buried underground
  4. Hitting a pile of dynamite left on the train tracks
  5. Mistaken for a Mexican criminal and hanged
  6. Train collision
  7. Rockslide
  8. Falling into a meat grinder

Cigars of the Pharoah

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A pack of cigars leads Tintin to the beginning of a drug-smuggling ring from Egypt to India.

Almost died: 5 times

  1. Stranded in the middle of the ocean
  2. Execution by firing squad
  3. Crashing into the jungle by plane
  4. Wrestling a tiger into a straitjacket
  5. Knife attack

The Blue Lotus

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Tintin uncovers another drug-smuggling case in China and hopes to find a missing doctor who can cure anyone who drinks the Rajaijah juice aka “The Poison of Madness.”

Almost died: 6 times

  1. Drive-by shooting
  2. Tainted tea
  3. Decapitation
  4. Executed for espionage
  5. Shooting by an assassin photographer
  6. Decapitation (again)

The Broken Ear

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Tintin follows thieves into the South American jungle for a stolen tribal fetish.

Almost died: 7 times

  1. Execution by firing squad (AGAIN!)
  2. Nearly shot in the face
  3. Prankster general shooting blanks during a chess match
  4. Assassination attempt
  5. Train collision while driving
  6. Car crash
  7. Falling off a ship fighting two men

The Black Island

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A counterfeiting case takes Tintin on an adventure through England and Scotland.

Almost died: 4 times

  1. Shot for asking questions
  2. Left inside a burning house
  3. Crashing a plane in Scotland
  4. Gorilla attack
Scottish gorillas? (via Tintin Wiki)

King Ottokar’s Sceptre

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Tintin searches for a royal family’s missing scepter before a rival country overthrows the monarchy.

Almost died: 4 times.

  1. Explosive parcel
  2. Falling out of a plane
  3. Cannons shooting down Tintin’s plane
  4. Assassination attempt (again)

The Crab With the Golden Claws

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Tintin solves an opium smuggling case in Morocco.

Almost died: 4 times

  1. Falling crates
  2. An enemy plane attack at sea
  3. A drunk sea captain crashes a plane into the Sahara desert
  4. Dehydration

The Shooting Star

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Tintin pursues a scientific expedition to study a meteorite that has landed in the Arctic Ocean.

Almost died: 3 times

  1. Shooting
  2. Giant spider attack
  3. Drowning

The Secret of the Unicorn

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Tintin and Captain Haddock search for treasure clues hidden inside ship models.

Almost died: 1 time (this comic was rather tame)

  1. Vicious dog attack

 

 Could you survive Tintin’s adventures? The sequel of this Tintin post is coming soon!

Other articles:

(Photo sources: Goodreads)

(Gif source: Tumblr)

 

My February 2018 Book Haul

This month, I’ve developed a new system reading more books every day. Besides reading one book at a time, I’d read two. I read 60 pages from one book and 30 pages from the second. This method worked wonders!

Looking forward to experimenting with another plan to read even more. If you haven’t viewed my 2018 resolutions, my goal is to read 333 books (including comics & e-books) by the end of the year.

Here’s my February 2018 book haul:

Adult Non-Fiction

1. Become the Force by Daniel M. Jones (4/5 stars)

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Daniel Jones took the whole Star Wars universe to a more in-depth spiritual level. The spirit of Jediism is being peaceful, doing good, and connecting with the Force.

I have no plans of joining the Church of Jediism anytime soon, but it was interesting to read about the church’s origins and its founder.

2. The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle (5/5 stars) *review*

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Consistent practice makes one talented according to The Little Book of Talent. This book is filled with valuable information to upgrade any skill you need to develop.

3. Show Your Work!  by Austin Kleon (5/5 stars) *review*

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You’d think having a creative career is hard, but Austin Kleon will show you how it’s done. Do the work, show your work, and repeat.

4. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon (4/5 stars) *review*

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Show Your Work! was so great I immediately picked up Steal Like An Artist. These books are pure gold for artists everywhere.

5. The Writing Warrior by Laraine Herring (4/5 stars) *review*

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Writing for leisure? Simple.

Writing full-time? Not so much.

Reading The Writing Warrior has helped me get over my writing problems especially the accursed writer’s block whenever it rears its ugly head.

Comics/Graphic Novels

1. The Adventures of Tintin (v.2) by Hergé

Image result for the adventures of tintin volume 2 Amazon

I love these Tintin 3-1 editions. This volume features The Broken Ear, The Black Island, and King Ottokar’s Sceptre.

2. The Adventures of Tintin (v.3) by Hergé

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More Tintin adventures! This volume includes The Secret of the Unicorn, The Shooting Star, and The Crab with the Golden Claws.

3. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Book One) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (5/5 stars) *review*

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I love a good scary story sending chills down my spine. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is not another friendly Archie comic featuring Sabrina in her kooky, magical adventures.

Please read at your own risk.

4. Hollow City: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs (story) & Cassandra Jean (art) (4/5 stars)

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If you’re familiar with the Peculiar Children novels, try reading the graphic novel series.

I hope the movie sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children comes out soon. I’m ready to see this in theaters!

I also read: 

5. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (3/5 stars)

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Priyanka finds a magical scarf leading her back to India. There, she uncovers a family secret hidden from her since she was born.

6. Plutona by Jeff Lemire & Emi Lennox (2/5 stars)

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Plutona‘s about a group of kids finding a superheroine’s corpse in the woods. This story had rising potential then it dropped with an anti-climatic ending.

Juvenile (For Ages 8-13)

1. The Adventures of Riley: Outback Odyssey by Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz (4/5 stars)

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I read Outback Odyssey since I was in a “Let’s travel to Australia” mood. I learned many things about the Outback wildlife. Did you know male kangaroos were called boomers?

YA (Young Adult)

1. Hurricane Kiss by Debbie Blumenthal (3/5 stars)

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Jillian is forced to shed her true feelings for River, a football star dropout, in the midst of Category 5 Hurricane Danielle.

Debbie Blumenthal’s storm descriptions made me feel like I was right in the middle of Mother Nature’s horrors. The romance was sweet, but I felt like the hurricane rushed it.

What was in your February book haul?

Past book hauls: