Category Archives: Miscellaneous Bookish Stuff

2017 Book Haul Post (AKA Failing at NY Resolutions)

There was a time, about six months ago, when I was feeling super optimistic and joined not one, but two reading challenges that consist of reading books you already own instead of buying new ones. I think it’s safe to say I’m failing spectacularly at both of them as I’ve bought nearly 50 books in 2017. Yeah, that’s right. Some sof them were birthday gifts and a lot of them were Kindle deals, so I haven’t beggared our family yet (I’m actually being really good and sticking to my self-allotted book budget). But here are some of the more memorable ones (I might or might not review them at a later date). Links go to reviews if reviews exist!

Bought/Received and Read:

  • The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – yeah, all four books. So good.
  • The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima – not as good as the first two but still fairly okay.
  • Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle – again, not as good as her first but pretty addictive nonetheless
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – SUCH a disappointment. :(
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton – I wanted to love this one so much but just didn’t.
  • A Conjuring of Light by Victoria Schwab – reviewed this already.
  • Pretty Face by Lucy Parker – I love this series, it’s such great fun!
  • Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne – this was fantastic. The ending was a bit rushed but still great!
  • City of the Lost and A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong – WOW this is fantastic! I am totally hooked on this series and if you have more similar recs for me, I need them now.
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – Maraia recommended this after I told her I loved Armstrong’s books and it was so so good!
  • Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh – this was really good! I don’t read many historicals these days but I like discovering new authors.
  • Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews – I quite enjoyed this! Alpha male warning though.
  • The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean – much anticipated but sadly my least favorite of her books! :( I just couldn’t forgive the hero.
  • Sustained by Emma Chase – this was me giving Chase a second try after pretty much hating her first Royally book, and I didn’t like this one, either. So Chase just isn’t for me, I guess.
  • Haze by Paula Weston – I finally decided to continue this series, and this second part was even better! I’ll have to get the rest soon before I forget too much. Lots of angst.
  • Half of Sarina Bowen’s opus – I’ve been on a serious Bowen binge, she’s one of my favorite new romance discoveries! I even fell in love with sports romance (hockey, woop!).

Honestly, there was a lot more romance. :D

Bought/Received and Waiting to be Read:

  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I finally got this to complete my collection (still missing Kindred Spirits though)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – I can’t bring myself to start this. I haven’t the energy.
  • Temeraire by Naomi Novik – I said I wouldn’t start this series because it’s so long but then it was a Kindle deal and I kind of had to, after how much I enjoyed Uprooted.
  • Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette-Kowal – this has been on my to-buy list for a long time and then I saw it was less than 4$ and had to pick it up. It came highly recommended + the cover is gorgeous.
  • Finger Lickin’ 15 by Janet Evanovich – I buy one Stephanie Plum book every 6 months or so. I might catch up with the series in a decade or so! :)
  • Leon and Louise by Alex Capus – my mom gave me this one for my birthday, it’s supposed to be really good!

What have you been reading and buying?

Anything I should put on my to-buy list immediately?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

In Which I Flail Over The Raven Cycle

It’s been a long time, people, but I finally found a series that broke my reading slump for good (fingers crossed). The last time I binge-read an entire four-part series in less than 10 days was when I first read Twilight (don’t judge, okay?).

So I’m beyond happy to have finally caved to peer pressure – because Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle is great. Let me tell you why (also this is a non-spoilery sort-of review of the entire series):

  • The characters are fantastic. Okay, I know people are saying that they’re really over-privileged white spoiled boys (and girl), but I couldn’t help but feel that the over-privileged part was more of a hindrance in their case. And I know readers are especially partial to Ronan (or Adam), but I have to say Gansey stole my heart. He’s such a good guy and you know how much I love good guys. I was also afraid that Blue would be your typical manic pixie girl, but she’s just so relatable and down to earth and kind. She’s a wonderful heroine.
  • The adults aren’t complete morons. So often in YA, adults either act as antagonists or are completely absent from the plot, leaving teenagers to save the world (which is…fine, but gets old pretty fast). Here, I loved Blue’s relationship with her mother, the psychic ladies, and Mr. Gray. They never stole the spotlight from the main characters but they also didn’t let them flail around on their own.
  • The writing is addictive. I’ve read the Mercy Falls series before and I liked Stiefvater’s world a lot, though it didn’t blow me away. With The Raven Cycle, however, I couldn’t stop reading. When my local bookstore didn’t have Blue Lily, Lily Blue in stock, it was the worst (they got it for me from another town so I didn’t have to order through The Book Depository and wait for two weeks, whew).
  • The worldbuilding is detailed but not overpowering. As always, I’m super glad when I find a series where the author doesn’t beat me over the head with their world. Like, the mythical king Gansey is looking for (the drive for the entire series) was completely unknown to me, and though I didn’t particularly care about the king (and didn’t even check if he’s an actual historical persona), I could still follow and enjoy the plot.

All in all, this series is a treat. If paranormal YA is your thing, you need this in your life. And then we can chat about who your favorite raven boy (or girl?) is, alright?
Have you read The Raven Cycle? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you! :)

Blogging Resolutions 2017

Wow, the beginning of 2017 has been crazy around here, we’ve all gone through a serious combination of illnesses (including pneumonia) but we’re okay now. This is why I’m only posting these today. Better late than never, eh?

My blogging resolutions for 2017

  • Complete my challenges.
  • Comment back more (and keep up to date on my own comments).
  • Not stress as much – this one is a must.
  • Read 3 classics, 3 French books, 3 Slovenian books, and 3 translations.
  • Keep my NetGalley ratio at 80% or higher – I did really well last year and I don’t want to do worse this year.
  • Stick to 3-to-1 rule for buying books and 2-to-1 rule for starting new series.
  • Review ARCs within the week of their publication date.
  • Review all old (read in 2016) books by the end of January (this is going to be hard, so let’s say February 15).
  • Finish at least 7 series.
  • Blog twice a week.
  • Read more diverse books.
  • Have 3 posts written as a buffer at all times – this is hard but takes off so much pressure!
  • Allow myself to DNF more – because life’s too short to read books I don’t like.

And that’s it! 

What are your resolutions for 2017? Do you even make them?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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The Best Books I Read in 2016

The year has come to an end. Finally, most people will say, given that 2016 has been a pretty tough year. But as I said, it has been a good year for me, and these books made it better. Books have the power to do that sometimes. I divided them into categories and linked to my reviews where they’re available – I’m still behind with writing them, oops.

It has been a year of comfort reads and losing myself in fantasy worlds, so the list reflects that, I think. The lists themselves are in random order.

Best of Fantasy

Best of Romance

  • To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne – this one spawned a binge of Layne’s backlist. I haven’t reviewed any others yet but I fell in love with her stories! I especially loved Blurred Lines.
  • How Not To Fall and How Not To Let Go by Emily Foster – maybe the only romance that made me cry? I *loved* them!
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn – I read this one twice and I still think it’s great!
  • Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie – okay so it’s not just a romance but it was laugh-out-loud hilarious.
  • The Year We Fell Down and the entire Ivy Years series by Sarina Bowen – sports NA romance at its finest, really.
  • Act Like It by Lucy Parker – very good + bantery.

Best of Other

  • When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – gorgeous writing and packs a real punch.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – this was fantastic. Not my usual fare but so good!
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – I loved the book so much but the movie just wasn’t that good.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – one of the few Sci-Fi titles I read this year. I loved it!
  • Saga by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan – I really need to catch up with this one.

 

Which books will you remember most from 2016? 

Was it a good reading year for you?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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My Ultimate TBR List + Challenges

ultimate-tbrI’ve been thinking a lot about how many books I buy and how many I read – starting somewhere in the middle of 2016, I’ve been keeping meticulous notes on my book expenses and so on. I also pulled unread books off our bookshelves and made one hell of a mess, then put most of them back again.

The bottom line is that I have a huge number of unread books languishing on my shelves while I fall prey to new shinies and spend too much money on books I really don’t need to read (like over-hyped YA fantasies or bad romances – cue Lady Gaga). I know my list isn’t nearly as long as that of other readers but it’s too long for me and I need to fix it because I really want to read these books!

So I decided to make this ultimate list of all the books I already own and want to read (we do own books that I haven’t read but have no intention of ever reading – like Moby Dick, purchased (and read) by my husband). And in 2017, I want to bring it down by … let’s say a half. These are books I genuinely want to read, not just those I think I ought to read, either. And it doesn’t include re-reads! A lot of them are huge fantasies (hello, Robin Hobb!) so I hope I’ll get some of them out of the way.

I’ve been putting some of them on my seasonal TBR lists (see summer, autumn, and winter), and I think I’ll keep doing that because it seems more manageable that way.

backlist-reader-challenge-2017I’ll keep linking back to this post in each monthly recap to report on my progress – and I’m joining two reading challenges to keep myself motivated! And before you ask – YES, they are very similar but I’m joining both because I’m hoping more people looking at me fail with keep me accountable and on track.

The first is The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017 hosted by The Bookwyrm’s Hoard. The rules are really straightforward: the books that count towards the challenge must be published before 2016 and must already be on my tbr list or pile. Then I need to review the books I read and add them to the linky on Lark’s site.

beatthebacklist2017The second is Beat the Backlist challenge hosted by NovelKnight. For this one, the books read must be published before 2017 (which is even more lenient) and I have to create a tbr list (see below). There’s also the option of joining the Hogwarts house cup mini challenge – go Gryffindor!

I’m probably going to read some e-books I already own that have been published before 2016/17 but I’m definitely focusing on cutting down my physical tbr pile. If I happen to buy (or get) more books to be put on this list, the ratio stays the same. I’ll figure it out as I go along.

srcek

The List (forgive me for not putting the titles in italics, I don’t have the patience for that):

  1. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden
  2. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  3. Dune by Frank Herbert
  4. Nikolikje by Neil Gaiman
  5. Dobra znamenja by Neil Gaiman
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. To noč sem jo videl by Drago Jančar
  8. Vreščji mojster by Walter Moers
  9. Več kot to by Patrick Ness
  10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  11. Norveški gozd by Haruki Murakami
  12. The Book of Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland
  13. Irish Folk and Fairy Tales
  14. The Secret Life of Words
  15. Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb
  16. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  17. Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
  18. Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
  19. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Suzanna Clarke
  20. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  21. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  22. Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb
  23. Forest Mage by Robin Hobb
  24. Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb
  25. Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb
  26. The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb
  27. Fool’s Fate Robin Hobb
  28. Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb
  29. Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb
  30. Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier
  31. Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  32. Un Secret by Philippe Grimbert
  33. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
  34. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
  35. Castle in the Sky by Diana Wynne Jones
  36. Biographie de la faim by Amelie Nothomb
  37. Les Catilinaires by Amelie Nothomb
  38. Le Fait du prince by Amelie Nothomb
  39. Tuer le pere by Amelie Nothomb
  40. Antechrista by Amelie Nothomb
  41. Chercher le vent by Guillaume Vigneault
  42. Champagne by Monique Proulx
  43. Le Sexe des Etoiles by Monique Proulx
  44. Le Combat d’hiver by Jean-Claude Mourlevat
  45. Deviški samomori by Jeffrey Eugenides
  46. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  47. Laurus by Jevgenij Vodolazkin
  48. The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
  49. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

e-books

  1. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
  2. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
  3. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  4. Us by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
  5. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I’m sure there are more but these are on the top of my digital tbr for now.

Read

srcek

I am also joining the Discussion Challenge, which was the best challenge I participated in last year. It’s hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight and involves writing discussion posts. It’s a great one for building your community and meeting lovely new bloggers who have something to say!

I’m trying for the category called Creative Conversationalist, which means I’ll be writing at least eleven discussions this year. Let’s do this!

srcek

Have you read any of these? Which one should I pick up first?

Are you joining any reading challenges this year?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

My Winter TBR

winter-tbr16Since I’ve had some success with creating these to-be-read posts in summer and autumn, I’m continuing with my choice of winter reads.

Now, in the previous two editions, I picked a mix of books I already own and new releases I knew I’d be reading immediately. For the winter version, however, I picked only books from my shelves (both virtual and physical), because I need to tackle my existing mountain of books – one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016 was to stick to a 3-to-1 rule when it comes to buying books. I managed to cling to it for about four months before it all fell apart.

If I manage to read them all by the end of February, I’m rewarding myself by buying a book from my too-long to-buy list (I mean, I’m probably going to be buying other books in the meantime, but yeah. I need rewards.)

srcek

These are the books I’m hoping to read (in no particular order):

  1. Chime by Franny Billingsley – this is a re-read for me, I read it years ago, before I started blogging, and I remember next to nothing about it. Alicia recommended it, though, so I remembered I had it somewhere on my shelves. I want to give it another try!
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – look, you guys, I might actually read it this time (this is a transfer from the summer, ugh).
  3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – whew what a tongue-twister of a title! I have this one in Slovenian translation, my mom recommended it to me. I need to read outside of my comfort zone(s) every once in a while. (read in December)
  4. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness – I recently re-read and reviewed A Discovery of Witches because I want to finish this series! (DNF in December)
  5. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – I won this two years ago in a giveaway and still haven’t finished it. It’s time, I think! (read in December)
  6. Un Secret by Philippe Grimbert – the only French novel on the list. I’ve had this one for years, it came recommended by a professor at Uni (wow, that was a long time ago) and it was one of those impulse purchases while I was on vacation (I think).
  7. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami – oh, another “old” book from our shelves. Seriously, I think we’ve had this one since before we moved in together… (Slovenian translation)
  8. More Than This by Patrick Ness – I have this one in Slovenian translation as well, which is a pity (not that I think the translation is bad, I just like reading originals if I can), but it makes no sense to buy a book if I already own it.
  9. Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta – this was a Kindle deal, I had to get it. (DNF for now – in December. This book is so fucking depressing I can’t handle it.)
  10. Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb – I’ve been in the middle of this one for months and it’s high time I finished this series!

Aaaand I think that’s more than enough. We’ll see how it goes, I’ll absolutely be reading other books in between (I’m sure my obsession with romance won’t just magically fade away).

srcek

What are you reading this winter?

Which of these should I tackle first? 

I’d love to hear from you! :) 

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