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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! :) 

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Witchy Reads

witchy-readsI’m not a fan of horror stories, so you won’t find a lot of them on my blog – and I certainly haven’t read enough of them to be any sort of authority. The fact is that in Slovenia, we don’t traditionally celebrate Halloween. We do observe All Saints’ Day on November 1st as well as Reformation Day on October 31st (both are holidays), but dressing up in costumes is reserved for February, when Pust happens. Nowadays, people sometimes do Halloween parties but that’s more an excuse to dress in skimpy costumes and get drunk – nobody actually thinks about why the holiday is there to begin with. Eh.

Halloween isn’t just about ghosts and serial killers, though, even if the movie marathons run at this time of the year tend to lean in that direction. It’s about witches, too, and witches just so happen to be my favourite supernatural creatures!

Samhain being one of the most important holidays for witches past and present, this time of year is especially appropriate for reading books about witches. And I’ve read a fair number of them! These are some of my favourites (in no particular order).

  • The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. Yeah this is one of those books I keep pushing on you folks. It’s a great seasonal read, if you haven’t tried it yet, maybe I can convince you: go read my review and another gushing post I wrote about it.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I don’t know why I never reviewed this one but it’s pretty damn fantastic. I’m planning on re-reading it soon as I recently re-read Fangirl, too.
  • Half Bad by Sally Green. This is a trilogy and I just read Half Wild – but I still have to read the last one. I like the story a lot though it’s a bit darker than your usual paranormal YA.
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Okay so maybe I wasn’t as impressed by this one when I re-read it recently (I still have to review it) but it’s a good blend of historical facts, romance, and mystery, plus the witches are pretty badass, so it deserves a spot on this list. Again, it’s a trilogy and I have to finish it.
  • The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. This is her debut and also the first of her novels that I read – before I even started blogging (this is totally an “I read Schwab before she was cool” moment lol). I love the fairytale feel of this one, it’s haunting.
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik. One of my all-time favourites. Seriously, I’ve now read this book at least five times (I translated it into Slovenian so it’s sort of a must) and it’s still great. Books that can be read multiple times in the space of one year are rare indeed and this one is fantastic.
  • Book of Shadows by Kate Tiernan. Ohh, I recently re-read most of these. I first read them when I was about… 13? Maybe? Anyway, I bought the first two books when we were in the US, actually, and fell in love. I was seriously interested in Wicca for a while because of them!
  • Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. Obviously.

srcek

Tell me your favourite witchy reads! I need more seasonal recommendations. 

Do you dress up for Halloween?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

Currently Re-reading

re-readingI think I’ve complained several times over the years that Goodreads still doesn’t have a re-reading option. It’s one of the reasons I don’t set a Goodreads reading goal – I re-read a lot and those books never count towards my book goal.

I’ve talked about re-reading before (most recently here) – I return to the same old stories because it feels like coming home, it feels like meeting old friends. So when I’m in the mood for something comforting, I often turn to these stories that I’ve read and loved before. I always discover something new, each reading is different because I’m different. I’m in a different mood, at a different stage in my life.

This isn’t really a discussion, just a post that will be updated as I re-read books because I want to keep track of that somewhere. Also, if you’re looking for book recommendations, all of these are probably a good idea, since I’ve read them more than once. I won’t go listing every book I’ve ever re-read, just those I re-read recently (say since the beginning of the year) and then I’ll try to keep it up to date in the future. The links go to my reviews.

Currently re-reading: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

srcek

Books I’ve re-read 

2016

srcek

Do you re-read a lot? Or at all?

What are your favourite comfort re-reads?

I’d love to hear from you! :) 

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My Autumn TBR

autumn-tbr

I’ve had a lot of fun with my Summer TBR, so I decided to do one for Autumn as well. I obviously didn’t read everything from the list but I did read eight out of thirteen of the books (that’s nearly 2/3 of the books!), so that’s pretty good, given that I’m a mood reader and I read several other books that aren’t on this list.

I’m keeping some of the ones I didn’t manage to read (they’re still at the top of my list) and adding some new ones to keep things fresh. There are also a couple of new releases for August/September – and I’m sure to add more once I find out what’s being published this season.

I also have no idea what my reading life will be like in autumn since Baby is supposedly coming on August 25th (I’m scheduling this post ahead). I read a lot when Kiddo was very little, mostly on my Kindle because it was easier to read one-handed while I was nursing him/rocking him to sleep. We’ll see how things go, I’m not putting any pressure on myself, just reminding myself which books I already own and which are on top of my TBR for other reasons.

srcek

Here goes!

  1. Half Wild by Sally Green – this is one of those books that would otherwise languish on my bookshelf for a while. I got my copy from a friend and even though I’ve heard that this second part of the series isn’t as good as the first, the third is supposed to be fantastic. (read in October)
  2. Rebel of the Sandsrebel-of-the-sands-hamilton by Alwyn Hamilton – I bought this one on a whim because it had a gorgeous cover (I saw the paperback in a bookstore in Vienna) + Alicia recommended it. It’s been sitting on my shelf for months now and I really need to get to it, even if it means starting a new series instead of continuing an old one. (read in November)
  3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh – I picked up an e-book of this one when it was a Kindle deal, though I love the cover and it would look great on my shelves. Oh, well, I guess I can’t have everything… I also heard the second (and final) part is very, very good, so I’m intrigued! (read in September)
  4. The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch – there’s been some weirdness with the pub date for this one but now it looks fine. So if all goes well, I’ll be reading this in late September!
  5. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – this one comes out on September 6, so I really should put in my preorder. I wasn’t too impressed with Queen of Shadows but since I’ve already read 4/6 books in the series, I’ll be continuing it. (read in September)
  6. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge – this is a classic and a re-read for me. It’s one of my favorite books from my childhood and I’ve had the English version for years now, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m sort of scared of reading it. (read in November/December)
  7. A Scot in the Darkscot-in-the-dark-maclean by Sarah MacLean – this is a no-brainer. I have a preorder for it already, it comes out on August 30, so it’ll probably be the first book I’ll cross off this list. :) (read in September)
  8. The Goal by Elle Kennedy – the last installment of a cool NA romance series. I suspect I’ll be craving a lot of easy, fluffy reads, and I can’t wait to read this one. (read in September)
  9. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – so many good romances are coming out this season! Tessa Dare is one of my all-time favorite romance authors, so you can bet I’ll be reading this one as soon as it’s out. Plus it’s a Spindle Cove novel, which is a bonus. (read in September)
  10. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria – I got this one as an ARC, so I’ll make a real effort to read it on time. It looks really interesting! (read in September)
  11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ugh, the classics. I made some resolutions this year about reading more classics, so I’m putting dear old Jane on my list. It’s high time I read this story and the tiny, gorgeous edition with golden leaf edges is staring at me accusingly from my bookshelf (I moved it to a more visible position recently). Okay this one is a transfer from the Summer TBR and I hope I’ll have more luck with it this time around.
  12. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – yeah. I haven’t read this one in years so I think it’s high time for a re-read. I want to know if I’ll look at it differently now that I’m a more “mature” reader. I also want a complete set of reviews of Austen’s books for my blog, which is something of a challenge! (re-read in September)

Let’s keep it at a dozen titles. Even with these, my book budget will suffer severely because almost half of them are new releases! But I’ve known for months I’ll be buying them, so it’s not a shock for me. We’ll see how this goes.

srcek

Which new Autumn releases are you excited about? 

Will you be reading any of the books on my list?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

My Summer TBR

summer-tbr

I know summer has officially begun already and I’ve even spent a week at the seaside (which you probably realized if you’re following me on Instagram) but then I read Jolien’s post, in which she featured a number of great books she wants to get to this summer, and I thought I’d do something similar – both to keep myself from buying any more books (I own all but one of these already) and to remember I have fantastic reading to look forward to, even if I’ll be stuck in Ljubljana for most of July.

These are the books I’m hoping to read this summer (I’ll be crossing them off the list as I finish them):

  1. Half Wildhalf-wild-sally-green by Sally Green – this is one of those books that would otherwise languish on my bookshelf for a while. I got my copy from a friend and even though I’ve heard that this second part of the series isn’t as good as the first, the third is supposed to be fantastic.
  2. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano – I have a Slovenian translation of this one and it’s supposed to be very good. I have no idea what it’s about (if you know, don’t tell me) but my mom recommended it so it’s bound to be good. (read in August)
  3. Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis – this one isn’t out yet (four more days to go!!) but I have a preorder, because duh, it’s Shalvis. (read in June; unsurprisingly)
  4. Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout – this is the second part of Armentrout’s New Adult paranormal romance series, coming out in July. I’m buddy reading it with Danya and Becky because Armentrout’s paranormals are our weakness, and we’ll be reviewing it soon after. (read in August)
  5. Rebel of the Sandsrebel-of-the-sands-hamilton by Alwyn Hamilton – I bought this one on a whim because it had a gorgeous cover (I saw the paperback in a bookstore in Vienna) + Alicia recommended it. It’s been sitting on my shelf for three months now and I really need to get to it, even if it means starting a new series instead of continuing an old one.
  6. The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison – I got this one because it’s a standalone and so many bloggers I trust have raved about it. The paperback I got is tiny compared to some of the fat fantasy tomes on our shelves. (read in July)
  7. Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier – as Daughter of the Forest was one of the best books I read in 2015, this is long overdue. I finally ordered a copy and will get to it soon. (read in July)
  8. And I Darken by Kiersten White – this is the only ARC on this list. It’s one of the few I requested in these past few months because I’m trying to be better at that (YAY for a 81% ratio on NetGalley!). I think this might be my next read since it comes out on June 28! (read in July)
  9. The Wrath and the Dawnwrath-and-dawn-renee-ahdieh by Renée Ahdieh – I picked up an e-book of this one when it was a Kindle deal, though I love the cover and it would look great on my shelves. Oh, well, I guess I can’t have everything… I also heard the second (and final) part is very, very good, so I’m intrigued!
  10. The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch – the only reread on this list so far. If you remember, DJ and I started a read-along of the entire series a while ago – I just managed to read Red Seas under Red Skies this past week (I’m waaay behind schedule). So we have two months to tackle The Republic before The Thorn of Emberlain is published in September!
  11. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – I’ve heard nothing but great things about this one + I have an e-book already, so it’s high time I read it, I think. (read in August)
  12. No Good Dragon Goes Unpunishedno-good-dragon-goes-unpunished-aaron by Rachel Aaron – okay, this is ARC #2 on my list. Did you see that? I GOT AN ARC of this one!! I was contacted by the author (or rather her husband) personally because I reviewed (and loved!!) Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another. Woop! I am super excited to read what adventures await Julius and Marci (and other amazing dragons). (read in August)
  13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ugh, the classics. I made some resolutions this year about reading more classics, so I’m putting dear old Jane on my list. It’s high time I read this story and the tiny, gorgeous edition with golden leaf edges is staring at me accusingly from my bookshelf (I moved it to a more visible position recently).

Well, I think this is quite ambitious. If I succeed in reading all of these, it’ll mean a significant dent in my general tbr pile and make me a very happy blogger indeed.

srcek

What will you be reading this summer?

Have you read any of these and should I make those books a priority?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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