Monthly Wrap-Ups

What I’ve Been Reading: August, September & October 2017 [#25]

Random blog post being published because I simply can’t stand not talking about books. But don’t expect another post for a while. 🙂


The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
2 stars

I think it’s good to read classics. Sadly, my interest in most of them is pretty minimal so I skim a lot, but at least I can say I’ve read The Jungle Book and know its general story. Perhaps one day I’ll finally even watch the Disney animated classic and the live-action remake…

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
5 stars. Reread.

I rewatched Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film and got inspired to reread the book. ❤

The Unearthly by Laura Thalassa
4 stars

I absolutely loved Laura’s The Vanishing Girl and The Decaying Empire — when is the third book coming out?! Anyway, I finally picked up The Unearthly, the first book in a YA series. Read it in one sitting. A little absurd, not as good as the other two books of hers I’ve read, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
5 stars

Poetry by the awesome Danez Smith. And I got my copy signed!!

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
2 stars

Ditto above regarding my thoughts on classics and how I read most classics. I got the overall story of The Scarlet Letter. Did I savor every word? Of course not, my attention was probably 50% present.

Footfall at Follies by C.D. Noir
5 stars

Favorite book I’ve read since last checking in on the blog! You know I love my adult thrillers, and while this is more mystery than thriller, it revolves around the Broadway dance industry, which I know quite a bit about and find fascinating. Footfall at Follies takes place in the heart of New York City, in Times Square. It’s fast-paced, full of wonderful description, has wildly colorful characters, and a really original mystery at its core. I highly recommend checking this out if you like mysteries!


What was your favorite book you read in recent months?
Have you read any of these books?
If not, do any of them pique your interest?
Comment below letting me know!

Follow me @ toweroftomes on Twitter Instagram Goodreads | and Bloglovin’!

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Book Reviews · Monthly Wrap-Ups

Reading Wrap-up: July 2017

Hello! It’s been a while.

Before I write a final sappy post for The Leaning Tower of Tomes, here’s what I read in July 2017. Surprisingly, I read 6 books! 4 were required for a Creative Writing course I took, but I’m glad I read books I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.


What I read in July 2017:

China’s Son: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution by Da Chen
♥♥♥♥

A gut-wrenching memoir about the author’s childhood during the Cultural Revolution, and the trials he went through to secure an education.


Old Snow, poems by Bei Dao, translated by Bonnie S. McDougall and Chen Maiping
♥♥♥♥

Poems revolving around the author’s life after the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989.


The Lake Has No Saint by Stacey Waite
♥♥

Poems about the author’s identity struggle growing up.


When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz
♥♥♥

Poems about the author’s childhood and culture growing up on a Reservation.


How To Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes
♥♥

Confusing as heck, honestly. Extremely different and original, but hard to decipher.


We the Animals by Justin Torres
♥♥♥♥

A dark, beautiful coming of age novella.


What was your favorite book you read in July?
Have you read any of these books?
If not, do any of them pique your interest?
Comment below letting me know!

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Book Reviews · Monthly Wrap-Ups · Musings & Discussions

What I’ve Recently Read, Plus Thoughts on Going Forward

It’s been a month. How is everyone doing? Life has been crazy for me. I’m moving from the home I grew up in and going to another state. A fresh new start. I’ll also be starting university at the end of the summer. I’m super excited. But I already know I won’t be reading much once school starts.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how reading and blogging aren’t enticing me as much as they used to. I’ve gone through slumps in the past purely because of burnout. But now that my life is going to dramatically change, I’ve had to think about managing my time going forward.

I still love reading and will always read voraciously, but with work and now college fast approaching, I find that while I do still read, I don’t have the time to devote to writing reviews. I do love blogging and it’s taught me incredibly useful skills that I am actively using at one of my jobs. Book blogging kept me sane while I was going through a rough patch and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I am blessed that I joined the book community and met and talked to other readers when I didn’t have any IRL friends who read the same types of books as me.

I plan to try to keep up posting at least once a month up until my third year blogging anniversary on August 24th, literally the week before I start classes. After the summer is over, though, I won’t promise anything. It seems like this will be the right timing to let go of The Leaning Tower of Tomes…

But until August 24th rolls around — here’s a look at what I’ve read in the past two months. I’ll admit, I have only read three books since I posted my review of Wild Orchid. And because I’m in the middle of packing, working two jobs, and getting my wisdom teeth out, I don’t know if I’ll be reading much of anything until I get settled in my new place. Still, I plan to read as much as I can over the summer.


What I Read in April and May 2017:

  

Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colors by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Paper Girls, #2) | Image Comics, November 2016. Paperback, 128 pages.

  • Maybe it’s because I read a physical copy, but I enjoyed Paper Girls, Volume 2 much more than Volume 1. The time-travel/alternate-worlds aspect was poppin’ and I felt much more invested in the mystery. ♥♥♥♥

The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains by Jon Morris | Quirk Books, March 2017. Hardcover, 256 pages. I received a copy from the publisher.

  • Quirk Books publishes the most amazing coffee table books, that’s what I’ve decided. The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains is basically an encyclopedia of super villains from comics that weren’t so super. ♥♥♥

Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda, lettering by Rus Wooton (Monstress, collected, #1) | Image Comics, July 2016. Paperback, 202 pages.

  • Now. THIS. Was quite something! Effing dark but so intriguing. I can see why it’s been so hyped. I didn’t love it with every ounce of my being (those cat info-dumps were tedious…), but I am definitely a fan of the story and artwork. Especially the artwork. ♥♥♥♥

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. There’s just been so much going on I haven’t been in the mood to sit down and read. Escaping into Korean drama land and K-pop is so much easier for my brain to handle these days. And, you know, the books I typically read are complex and dark fantasies. I just need a break.

See you next month!


What was your favorite book you read in the past few months?
Have you read any of these books?
If not, do any of them pique your interest?
Comment below letting me know!

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Lists & Such

What I Read In 2016: Part Four — All the graphic novels, comics, and manga!

Lists & Such

A 2016 Wrap-Up Post!

Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3!

First of all — Happy New Year! 2016 was kind of a terrible year, but there were a few good things that happened.

Like… I read a ton of graphic novels, comics, and manga in 2016! Like, so many! Enjoy the last part of my 2016 reading wrap-up posts! Without further ado, here are the books. (Click on a title to read my review. I didn’t review every book, though.)

Continue reading “What I Read In 2016: Part Four — All the graphic novels, comics, and manga!”

Lists & Such

What I Read In 2016: Part Three — Odds n’ Ends (Nonfiction and a random Will Shakespeare’s Star Wars)

Lists & Such

A 2016 Wrap-Up Post!

I did Part 1 and Part 2 of the novels I read in 2016. Check those out, because I’m sure you’ll find those posts much more interesting than this one. Anyway, here are the nonfiction books I read this year. Well, except for William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, but I lumped it in this category because it’s not exactly a novel.

Click on a title to read my review! Books aren’t listed in any particular order; there’s only 8 of them, after all.

Continue reading “What I Read In 2016: Part Three — Odds n’ Ends (Nonfiction and a random Will Shakespeare’s Star Wars)”

Lists & Such

The Novels I Read In 2016: Part Two — My Top 10 List! (The Hits & Favorites)

Lists & Such

A 2016 Wrap-Up Post!

So here are the awesome novels I read this year! (Check out Part 1, where I talk about the mehs and disappointments of 2016 in terms of novels.)

I’m not ordering these great books in a numbered list because no one book stood out that much more than all the others. All the books in this post were great reads that I highly recommend, and I’ll talk more about them below. (I also just noticed I have a nice mix of genres, too: fantasy, sci-fi, historical, thriller, contemporary, and romance! Wow, that’s awesome!)

Click on a title to read my review!

Continue reading “The Novels I Read In 2016: Part Two — My Top 10 List! (The Hits & Favorites)”

Lists & Such

The Novels I Read In 2016: Part One — 3 and 2 Star Reads! (Mehs & Disappointments)

Lists & Such

A 2016 Wrap-Up Post!

As of writing this post, I have read 70 books in 2016 — which is woefully little for me, actually. 2016 was a terrible reading year. Many of the books I read were actually graphic novels, comics, and manga — many of which were excellent — but I did read a number of novels, though not nearly as many as I’d hoped. 2016 might have been slow, but I did read some good books, which you’ll see in future countdown posts! I also might finish reading a few more books before the end of the month (currently reading Splintered by A.G. Howard and liking it), but I don’t want to leave my wrap-up posts until the last minute, so here’s the first one.

As the title says, here is part one of the novels I read this year: 3 and 2-star reads. I’m amazed that I didn’t read a single 1-star novel! (Although there is one book that’s in that murky 1.5 rating territory…) I didn’t viscerally hate any novel I read, though, so I guess that’s good!

Click on a title to read my review. Books are listed in no particular order.

Continue reading “The Novels I Read In 2016: Part One — 3 and 2 Star Reads! (Mehs & Disappointments)”

Monthly Wrap-Ups

Reading Wrap-up: May 2016 (yup, this is SUPER-DUPER late, I know)

May and June really got away from me… Almost this entire first half of the year I haven’t felt super motivated to read or blog. In the spring I read mainly graphic novels, comics, and manga. However, now that it’s summer and life has gotten a bit less stressful lately, I’m back in full swing, ready to tackle my TBR pile again and catch up on my Goodreads challenge!

In May 2016, I managed to read 10 books, though most of them were still graphic novels, comics, and manga. June isn’t over yet, but I have read one actual novel as of writing this post! (Wow. Isn’t that incredibly impressive? i.e. Not.) For now, let’s just look at what I read in May. Here are the books, organized by rating. (Also, I’m working on reviews for a lot of these books, so hopefully, if all goes according to plan, they’ll be up on the blog within the next number of weeks.)

Continue reading “Reading Wrap-up: May 2016 (yup, this is SUPER-DUPER late, I know)”

Monthly Wrap-Ups

Reading Wrap-up: April 2016 [#20]

It’s that time again, the end of a month and beginning of another. (Yikes!) In April, I managed to read 19 books! Most of them were graphic novels, comics, and manga, but I’m finally caught up to my Goodreads challenge, and I’ve greatly enjoyed what I’ve been reading lately. I’m kind of in a reading slump when it comes to novels, though… I’ve really been neglecting my egalley and ARC pile, and I’ve returned a bunch of library books unread. Sigh. Maybe May will be better in terms of reading books made up of mainly words and not just gorgeous art?

Let’s take a look at all the books I did read last month, shall we? Here they are, organized by rating. Click on a title to read my review.

Continue reading “Reading Wrap-up: April 2016 [#20]”