Tag Archives: list

Shifty Characters

It’s time for some discussing and some list making (because have you met me? I always make lists). I’m participating in the 2017 edition of the fabulous Discussion Challenge, which is a fantastic place to find more bookish discussions. The participants always have something interesting to say!

Today, I thought I’d say a word or two about my love for shifty characters: thieves, assassins, pirates, and so on.

It’s weird that I enjoy reading about these people so much when in real life, my worst “crime” was getting fined for jaywalking in high school (seriously, I’ve never even gotten a parking ticket, I’m distressingly honest and law-abiding. Okay, so there might have been some underage drinking and pot smoking but I’m a responsible adult now. *cough*). I can’t even say that I know any criminals – at any rate, I would do my best to avoid real-life hustlers and con (wo)men, let alone assassins, because they prey on innocent people and kill and engage in really bad behavior.

So why is it that I am so drawn to any book that has a morally questionable protagonist? I’m not even talking about villains here. It’s the main characters with shifty lifestyles that I love. The redeemable bad guys.

Probably it’s because I hate characters who are too good and pure to be true. I mean, I consider myself to be a fairly honest, good person, but I still get jealous, petty, and downright nasty (only when I’m hungry, though, promise).

So let’s consider the loveable bad guys and get some recommendations! Note that some of them fall into multiple categories (I mean, as if stealing wasn’t enough. Let’s add murder to the mix, right?).

Have you read any of these? Did you like the shifty characters?

What do you think makes them so great?

And do you have any recommendations for me?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

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! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

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! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

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.

Challenges and Resolutions Update #3

challenges3

December is here and it is time to take stock of what I’ve been doing on this blog in 2016. Given that I had a baby and worked a lot, I think I did well with these, even if I didn’t necessarily stick to all of them.

Resolutions

  • I want to succeed at my reading challenges. I finished my Discussion Challenge and I’m really proud of that. I will definitely be participating in next year.
  • I want to read more classics. I didn’t do well with this one. I read one tiny Penguin Classics edition of Christina Rosetti’s poetry and I re-read Pride and Prejudice. I’ll be keeping this resolution for 2017.
  • I want to finish more series. Okay so I’m not doing too bad with this one. I’ll consider this one a mediocre success. I also dropped some series because I decided not to purposefully read bad books anymore, which was pretty liberating.
  • I want to get better at using Instagram. Er, no. I’m still posting stuff from our trips and some Lego creations, but I haven’t been all that consistent.
  • I want to read more non-English books. I aced this one, I think – especially compared to previous years. I have read eleven (I think?) non-English titles (though one was an English translation of a Finnish book).
  • I want to keep up-to-date with my ARCs. YES! I am doing great at this. Woop! :) I’ve kept my NetGalley ratio above 80% for the entire year and I am not requesting many books, only those I’m genuinely interested in. YAY!
  • I want to post more of my reviews to Goodreads. Yes. I am doing way better with this. Putting reminders into my Google calendar for each review really helps.
  • I want to buy fewer books and read more of the ones I already own. I’m not QUITE keeping to my 3-to-1 ratio but let’s say I’m making some progress.
  • I want to post at least twice a week. Yep, apart from the break in November, which I needed badly, I’ve kept this up!

I’d say I was pretty good with these. I’ll have to think of new resolutions for 2017!

srcek

Challenges

2016-Discussion-Challenge

The 2016 Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight. My goal was to write at least 13 discussions this year and I made it!! So this challenge is definitely a success and I will be participating in it next year for sure – it makes me write better posts that get the most engagement and I also met some great new people through it!

You can see my discussions here: Supernatural Love Interests, Should Romance Be Realistic?Are Bloggers Really Introverts?, How Are You?, All the HypeHigh Expectations, Watching People, Reading Novellas, Super Long Books, What Makes a Fantasy, Reading Bad BooksRe-reading Childhood Favourites, and Friends.

And I participated in the Retelling Challenge 2016 again. It was hosted by Mel at The Daily Prophecy. I am failing this one – I thought A Court of Mist and Fury would count towards this challenge but it really isn’t a retelling of anything as far as I could tell, despite the fact that the first part of the series was a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I also read Son of the Shadows by Juliet Mariller – the first book of the series was a retelling (The Daughter of the Forest), but this one just isn’t. So the only retellings I’ve read were Lock & Mori, a YA contemporary version of Sherlock Holmes, and The Wrath and the Dawn.

See – I won the challenge that isn’t dependent on my mood swings and current tastes in books. I think I’ll choose more challenges of this sort for 2017. More on that next week!

srcek

How did you do with your challenges and resolutions?

Do you feel guilty if you didn’t succeed?

What challenges will you be joining in 2017?

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! :) 

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.