Blogmas is over! | Holiday Bucket List Check-In

It’s the last day of Blogmas! Well, ‘my’ blogmas, which has been going from November 21st until today. Every single day except Christmas day, I’ve been posting.

And man, I’m tired now. It was tons of fun though!

On Black Friday, I posted a Holiday Bucket list of things I wanted to do. Today I’m gonna see what I did!

Holiday bucket list

  • Chestnut praline latte ❌
  • Peppermint mocha ✔️
  • Winter beer ✔️
  • Break out the electric blanket ✔️
  • Make a list of Christmas movies to watch ✔️
  • Watch those Christmas movies ㋛
  • Bake Christmas cookies ✔️
  • Ship cookies to buddies ✔️
  • Decorate the Christmas tree ✔️
  • Go Christmas shopping (online? 😦 ) ✔️
  • Winter nail art ❌
  • Go Christmas light hunting ✔️
  • Hang up Christmas lights outside ✔️
  • Get Christmas sweets ✔️
  • Get fiction TBR down to 200 books ✔️
  • Watch Harry Potter (from beginning!) ㋛
  • Watch Lord of the Rings (again) ❌
  • Wrap presents ✔️
  • Decorate apartment all Christmasy ✔️
  • Finish hanging frames on the walls ㋛
  • Buy a car ❌
  • Complete blogmas ✔️
  • Irish cream cold brew ✔️
  • Get Christmas jammies to wear to bed Christmas eve ❌
  • Learn how to play Carol of the Bells on guitar – in progress!!!
  • Break out Christmas scented candles ✔️
  • Finish book buying ban successfully ✔️
  • Make nacho dip for New Year’s ✔️
  • Send cards to my grandmother ✔️

 

The ones with the ‘eh’ smile are ones I did partially, but didn’t complete. Namely, ‘learn Carol of the Bells’ I didn’t finish. I definitely made good progress but I didn’t quite get as far as I wanted. C’est la vie.

But otherwise I think I did pretty good! I still need to buy a car. I swear, I’m just being procrastinatey about it at this point because I don’t wanna go out, ahah. I’ll get there though. Bwah. Hopefully this month? We’ll see!

And that’s it for Blogmas, after today, I’m going to resume my new-normal schedule of two posts a week, unless there’s a special post to go up. If you’ve stuck around throughout this, thank you. I appreciate you.

Bookshelf Tour 2021!

It’s second-to-last-day-of-Blogmas! Today’s post is my updated book collection!

Overview of book room:

I’m pretty happy with how it is. The nonfiction has been moved to the hallway, and honestly most of it is my husband’s, so I’m not gonna bother going over it. For the two piles shown in the last picture, the left two are books that have been purged. I’ll be dropping them off at my sister in law’s free little library. The two piles on the right are books I’ve borrowed from friends and family.

Manga and graphic novels

You can see my 10 in 2021 books on top in that last pic there. In addition to the manga shown, I have quite a few lent out. Not shown are: Ten Count 6, Rave Master 1-10, Demon Diary 1-7, Delicious in Dungeon 1-4, Inuyasha 1-5, The Way of the House Husband 1-2, Pandora Hearts 1, Trigun 1-2, Trigun Maximum 1-4, and Tokyo Ghoul 1-4 (though Tokyo Ghoul isn’t mine – it’s my husband’s).

Fiction:

Right now, my shelves are ordered by read and unread, followed by author (more or less). The last pic is what I’m currently reading and a couple books on the back-burner. Like the manga, I also have a lot of fiction lent out. Not shown: Uprooted, The Bear and the Nightingale, House of Leaves, Assassin’s Apprentice, Assassin’s Quest, Senlin Ascends, The Traitor Baru Cormorant, The Poppy War, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars, Throne of Glass, and Isle of Blood.

~~~

And that’s it! Those are my books as of today. Tomorrow is Blogmas day Last!

 

Favorite books of 2020!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl!

Hiiiii it’s my favorite post of the year! My favorite books!

Today’s post is also a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I’m doing it slightly out of order. Technically last week was the official ‘fave books’ topic, but I wanted to actually finish 2020 before picking, in case I had a last minute favorite! So we’re rolling with it.

I read 171 books this year and I have ten to talk about. My favorite books of 2020. These are ranked from ‘least favorite favorite’ to ‘most favorite favorite’:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – This got a 4.5 from me, the only 4.5 on this list out of the twenty-something 4.5s I gave this year. This is the 4.5-iest and my fave out of the ones with the same ranking.

I’m so late on this bandwagon man. I don’t know why I never read this before. I buddy-read this with two irl friends, one of which had read it a million times already and was just amused at us other two as we read. It. Was. Great. I loved this book.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – I gotta tell ya, I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. I’m a sucker for the big dumb object trope I guess, and this book also went into a really interesting commentary on how sudden internet fame can affect a person. This book was my only 4.75 rating of the year.

I bought the sequel to this book right after it came out, and it’s on my 10 in 2021 list so I hope to get to it soon!

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas by Yoru Sumino – This is where the five stars start. This is the ‘lowest’ of the fives, but it’s still a five, and honestly I don’t give those out very easily.

This one-shot manga, contrary to its name, talks about a very serious topic. The main character finds a diary of a girl with terminal pancreatic disease, and it tells the story of him befriending her, all while she knows she’s going to die soon.

I cried.

Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb – What’s a favorites list without a Hobb novel? This is the first book in the Soldier Son trilogy and I think my favorite of the three (I’m about six chapters away from the end of the last one, so unless it totally wows me, this is my fave). This is also the last series by Hobb that I have to read. After this, I need to find something to fill the void.

This series follows a young man as his life is thrown in a direction he did not expect, and deals with court politics and shamanic magic and it gets dark after a while. Robin Hobb really puts her characters through it. But this first book, I loved. And I hope I end up loving this last one as much as I did this one. I hope I hope I hope.

As per usual, I buddy read this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux – The second classic to make this list, and man I was not expecting to love this, but hey, I did. This isn’t the only gothic horror novel I read this year and because of it I think I’ve discovered a love for a new genre.

It’s so, well, horrifying and creepy and unsettling and I loved it.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice – Gothic horror! Would you look at that!

I’ve been sleeping on this book for years – my buddy originally tried to get me to read it in high school fifteen years ago. I read half of it and got distracted. Shame on me!

I picked it up again this year and absolutely loved it. It’s so eerie and unsettling and compelling. I loved it!

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio – Another unexpected favorite! Really, I loved this book. I still don’t own a copy though, I gotta pick one up.

This is a mystery thriller set at an acting university that focuses on Shakespearean plays. The tone this book has is awesome and the plot as it unfolded was so great. I couldn’t stop reading.

Out of all the books I’ve read this year, this is the one I think about the most.

Our Dining Table by Mita Ori – This is a fluffy one shot manga I picked up at the very beginning of 2020 that honestly I only bought on a whim. Definitely didn’t expect it to become one of my favorite manga of all time but there you go, I guess.

This is a romance between the two adults on the cover and is super stinking cute. It’s so wholesome and soft and lovely and if you need something to brighten your day, this is the manga for you.

Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko – This is my favorite novel of the year, hands down. This book was just so eerie and weird and confusing in the best way. The whole time in the book, I felt like I almost understood what was going on. And for some reason, the way the book was written, being confused made me want to read more not less.

Honestly I still don’t fully understand what I read. But. it. was. awesome.

Black Butler by Yana Toboso – Anyone who’s read even a few of my posts this year probably isn’t surprised by this. I read the entire 28 volumes of the series that were out when I first picked the series up this year. Since, vol 29 came out as well and I’m gonna read that too. So yes, this number one spot, my favorite of the year, is this entire series. I feel like pointing out individual volumes was pointless. All of them were between four and five stars, the vast majority of them 4.5 or 5. This series is awesome.

This is a wonder, funny, dark, twisty, comical story of a boy who sells his soul to a devil to get revenge on those who slaughtered his family. And then it’s so much more than that. It’s so great. It’s so well written, it’s so well paced, the characters are so well developed. I. love. it.

And that, that is it, ladies and gents. My favorite books of the year. 2020 was a shit year but for reading? It was great!

If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know!

Music Monday | #4

Happy Monday! This past month honestly I didn’t discover any new music whatsoever. I either listened to Christmas music or my Top 100 from spotify. So I figured what I’ll do this week instead is share some music from that list, from before I started doing my Music Monday posts! As per usual, I’ll list the genre they’re in so you can get an idea if they’d be for you or not, and then also the position on my top 100 list.

Gothic Rock (#5):

Power metal (#15):

Rock (#21):

Symphonic metal (#23):

Industrial Rock (#32):

And that’s it! I’m hoping I haven’t shared these specific songs before but I don’t 100% remember. If you listen to any of them, lemme know what you think!

Bottom Books of 2020

Hello! Today’s post will be about my least favorite books of the year. Luckily, I don’t have many of them – most of the books I read this year were three stars are higher.

These are in no particular order and they all rated between 1 and 2.5 stars:

Hitorijime My Hero by Memeko Arii – This one, like all the other manga on this list, share a unique trait in that I couldn’t really get past volume 1. Usually when picking up a new manga I give it two or three volumes before really deciding if I wanna read the whole thing or not, but this series (and the rest below) I knew after one volume that no, no I really didn’t.

This particular manga series is a romance between the two on the cover, but hey, turns out it’s a student-teacher romance and the student is seventeen. That was about it for me, didn’t wanna continue.

Also, this series apparently picks up after another one, one that was never actually translated into English. So it was hard to follow at first, on top of all the other things I disliked, augh.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime by Fuse – This is the first volume of the light novel series the anime is based off of. Honestly I didn’t care much for the anime, so I don’t know why I thought I’d like this more.

Turns out everything I disliked in the anime was amplified in this. The main character objectified women’s bodies upon meeting them and played it off as a joke like ‘hah hah look how edgy I am’. So yeah no, not for me, and I won’t be continuing the anime either.

Armada by Ernest Cline – I couldn’t even finish this one, man. I feel like Cline’s books just aren’t for me as a whole. This book was pretty cringey, and basically the main character the whole time is going ‘haha look how cool and I am and look how much pop culture I know’.

I get that some people like that, but it was not for me.

I. O. N. by Arina Tanemura – This one-shot manga was so, so bad. Part of me thought that maybe I would have liked it more if I was a teenager when I read it? But honestly I don’t think I would have. The plot is really all over the place and disjointed and weird and it just really felt like I was reading a mess.

Strawberry Panic by Sakurako Kimino – So this manga was riddled with issues. It’s a female-female romance which I was looking forward to, but the dynamics of it are terrible. One of the girls is basically predatory and the other has no idea what’s going on the whole time. The plot was super convoluted and made no sense, and the giant cast of side characters were all just the same person over and over.

Also, this manga is marked ‘the complete collection’ but hah, no, it’s not. The series is three volumes long, but this bind up contains only two of them. They never translated volume three to English. So guess who never got an ending in this ‘complete collection’. It’s poop.

Pestilence by Laura Thalassa – This book was not for me. Honestly I didn’t mind the first half of it or so and was rather invested, but the plot kinda fell apart towards the end, as did the conclusion to the romance. The two main characters had a large issue (understandable, considering one of them was like killing civilization) but the way they got past it was so dumb, and didn’t make sense, and honestly felt way out of character for the principles that the main character had established she had earlier in the book.

It was messy, and I didn’t care for it.

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – This one I DNFd, and pretty recently, too. It was disappointing. The first book I read and thought was decent, but this one just felt really tropey and melodramatic in the worst way. The main character had no idea what she was doing, and kept saying one thing applying herself to one principle and then doing another. And then they brought up a really clunky love triangle. So yeah I quit about a hundred pages in. Sigh.

And that’s it! Seven books that were down in the dumps for me this year. Considering I read over 170 books, having only 7 that I didn’t like was pretty good I think.

If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know what you think!

Reading Resolutions 2021!

It’s a new year! New year means new goals!

My goals this year are going to be similar to last year’s, with a few modifications and additions. I nailed last year’s goals, so I’m confident I can do this year’s as well!

  • Read 100 books – I set this goal about four months into the year last year. Originally it was 50 but with my manga reading I shot past that real quick. So I’m just going with 100 right off the bat this time.
  • Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 – My goal in 2020 was 200, which I hit. So this year I want to knock it down more. My ultimate goal is about 20-25 books, but that’s obviously a few years off still.
  • Reduce manga tbr to 50 – This is the first time I’ve had a goal for manga. This past year I’ve read a ton of it but honestly I bought more than I read. So I’d like to knock it down to 50. As of today, not including Christmas gifts (which is about 5 volumes) my manga tbr sits at 156. So I gotta read 100 volumes to get it that low. I can totally do it, I read manga like nobody’s business.
  • Maintain blog schedule – This is an adjustment from last year in that I’m changing how often I post. In 2020, I started with three posts to week and actually increased to four. Blogmas is obviously its own thing, but otherwise, I was really feeling it after a while, posting four times per week. Honestly I spent more time on my blog than I did on reading, which kinda defeats the purpose. So for 2021, I want to post twice a week, except for special occasions.
  • Finish my 10 in 2021 list – I’ve made a list like this every year since 2015, but I’ve never completed one. The books I picked this year are really exciting, and a lot of them I have buddy reads lined up for, so I think (I hope) it’ll go well.

And that’s it for reading goals. I set some personal goals too this year, which is the first time I’ve done so in about three years. I don’t think I’m going to post them here though. I did write them down in my journal, so I hope to keep that updated every month.

Wish me luck, everyone! Lemme know what your goals are.

2020: A Reading Year in Review | Goals and Stats

Happy New Year’s!

I don’t know about you but I somehow feel lighter. I know the calendar is a social construct but something about not having a 0 at the end of the year anymore is super nice.

One good thing that did result from this past year though, is that I read way more than I’ve ever read before in a single year.

In 2020, I read 171 books.

Goodreads overview:

Ps: If you’d like to add me on Goodreads, do it!


Reading Goals:

These goals were originally posted on January 2nd, 2020.

  • Read 50 books (later amended to 100) – Success. I read 171.
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule – Success. I was kinda iffy in January, but throughout the rest of the year, I posted at least three times per week, every week.
  • Keep track of reading statistic – Success. They will be below.
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – Success. There is a caveat to this one. I ended up amending this to ‘reduce physical fictional TBR to 200′ because nonfiction is a different thing and I don’t feel like coffee table books and whatnot should be held against me. So it’s basically novels. Manga is also its own list, this is just books. But yes, I hit 200 on the 26th of December!

Look at that! I did all four goals! I don’t think I’ve ever done that before to be honest.


Reading Statistics

So just like last year, I kept track of my reading stats in a spreadsheet and made some charts!

So the beginning of lockdown definitely showed my best reading. I read almost 40 things during April! My lowest reading month was November, which makes sense since I was doing Nanowrimo.

  • 161 books were read for the first time
  • 7 were rereads
  • 3 were DNFs
  • 99 of the books read were purchased in 2020 (mostly manga, tbh)
  • 1 was a gift
  • 34 were on my shelf from a previous year
  • 37 were borrowed either via library or service
  • 115 were manga
  • 11 were hardback
  • 14 were trade paperback
  • 2 were mass market paperback
  • 12 were ebooks
  • 14 were audiobooks
  • 2 were graphic novels
  • 1 was a picture book

Out of the novels:

  • 27 were adult
  • 12 were YA
  • 1 was middle grade
  • 1 was a kid’s book
  • 3 were new adult

Out of the manga:

  • 46 were rated T (Teen)
  • 68 were rated OT (Older teen)
  • 13 were rated M (Mature)

Author info:

  • 140 were female
  • 29 were male
  • 1 was unknown
  • 1 was two authors
  • 123 authors were from Japan
  • 35 were from the US
  • 5 were from the UK
  • 4 were from South Korea
  • 2 were from New Zealand
  • 1 was from France
  • 1 was from Ukraine

Diversity:

  • 28 had no diversity
  • 50 contained a combination of diverse types
  • 6 were LGBT+ diverse
  • 81 were racially diverse
  • 6 had diverse authors

Pages:

  • 2 were under 100 pages
  • 84 were between 100-199 pages
  • 45 were between 200-299 pages
  • 19 between 300-399 pages
  • 11 between 400-499 pages
  • 4 between 500-599 pages
  • 2 between 700-799 pages
  • 1 between 800-899 pages
  • 1 between 900-999 pages
  • 2 were over 1000 pages

Publication year:

  • 3 were published during the 1920s or earlier
  • 1 in the 40s
  • 3 in the 70s
  • 42 in the 2000s
  • 13 in 2010
  • 9 in 2011
  • 7 in 2012
  • 5 in 2013
  • 7 in 2014
  • 13 in 2015
  • 13 in 2016
  • 16 in 2017
  • 10 in 2018
  • 23 in 2019
  • 6 in 2020

Rating:

Finally, the ratings! It’s a bell-ish curve? I guess?

  • 3 were 1 star (the DNFs)
  • 2 were 2 stars
  • 2 were 2.5 stars
  • 1 was 2.75 stars
  • 11 were 3 stars
  • 36 were 3.5 stars
  • 18 were 3.75 stars
  • 54 were 4 stars
  • 5 were 4.25 stars
  • 24 were 4.5 stars
  • 1 was 4.75 stars
  • 14 were 5 stars!

It’s been a while since I had this many five star books, I’m pretty excited about it! I’ll go over them in more detail later in the week during my top books of the year post!

~~~

And that is it. A year’s worth of books and now I need a nap I think. Here’s hoping 2021 is bright and shining and hopeful and full of good books.

Happy reading.

December Wrap Up! ’20

Happy New Year’s Eve! Less than a day, and this damned year will be over. We’re not out of the woods yet though – 2021 will be rough for a bit but we can get through it! But this year being over will still be so welcoming. It’s the mental line we’ll get to draw, boxing off the year and allowing us to progress.

Augh.

Anyways, this is what I read:

Books

Hunted by Meagan Spooner – This is a young adult fantasy with a tinge of romance. Honestly, I was expecting the romance to be a lot more heavy handed as it’s a beauty and the beast retelling, but it wasn’t as in my face as I thought. Sure it was there, but the author focused a lot more on magic and tone, and I really enjoyed it. – 4 stars

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw – This was probably my favorite book of the month, and it was also read via audio book. The narrator was Croshaw himself, so it had that nice deadpan delivery. This book is about a magic school student that is killed, but then he ends up being revived to be an evil minion of a villain and he’s really grumpy about it. This book is laugh out loud funny and I adored it. The only issue I had with it was its use of an ableist slur, so if that’s a hard line for you, you might wanna pass on this one. – 4.5 stars

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh – Unfortunately this was a DNF for me. I stopped about a hundred pages in. This isn’t super shocking, as the first book in the series was about a three stars for me. This one was just… awkward. – 1 star

Ouran High School Host Club vols 1-2 by Bisco Hatori – I’ve finally started this series. I read it in its entirety about fifteen years ago, so my memory is a bit fuzzy about the details, so it’s like reading it for the first time. This series follows a young woman who accidentally breaks an expense vase, and to pay her debts, ends up in her school’s host club, posing as a man and acting as a host. This has many comedic elements and if I remember correctly, an eventual romance or two. – 4 stars each

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson – This is a reread, and I read it on Christmas Day! It’s a middle grade chapter book about a children’s pageant and Christmas magic and yada yada. I enjoyed it as much as I did last time, though I didn’t care for the gender stereotypes it portrayed. Without that though, it’s super wholesome. – 4 stars

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This is a YA romance between a witch and a witch hunter, and takes place in France! It was a buddy read and honestly I feel like I’m missing something. The book was ok. I didn’t hate it but there were several themes within it that were a bit uh, yikesy.

But yeah, it was ok. I guess I just didn’t see what everyone else saw. – 3 stars

Other Stuff

  • I’m doing Blogmas! (duh) and I will be for the next week or so.
  • I’m on vacation and I’m seriously enjoying it.

Reading Goals

  • You’ll find out tomorrow!

~~~

And that’s it! I’ll see you all in 2021!

Top 5 books I didn’t get to in 2020

Happy Wednesday! It’s the last Wednesday of this dumpster fire of a year! Today I’m doing an old topic, ‘books I didn’t get to’. Basically all those books I said I was gonna read this year and then lol I didn’t.

These are the books:

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter – This one I bought over a year ago, late 2018 I think. This and all of the others on this list were on my 10 in 2020 list. Guess who didn’t finish that list.

The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2)

The Scar by China Mieville – This is the sequel (ish? Companion novel?) to Perdido Street Station, a book I read way back in 2015.

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer

Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson – I’ve read two other Stephenson novels at this point and tend to like them. This apparently is one of his best, so hopefully I’ll like it too.

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison – Honestly I think it might be a travesty that I haven’t gotten to this one yet. For shame, for shame!

The War of the Flowers

The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams – This one I’ve owned for probably ten years. It’s such a chunker though, I’m so intimidated!

~~~

And that’s it! I mean, saying ‘I hope I get to them in 2021’ is a hopeful yet moot statement. There will always been books I hope to get to, aaaaaugh.

Happy reading!

New Year’s Eve Book Tag!

Happy Monday! Today I’m doing a tag that I was tagged in back in January of 2020. It’s one that by the time I noticed it, it was a bit too late to do it. So I’m doing it now instead!

I was tagged by Narrative Paradise – thanks friend!

The Rules
↠ Link back to the tag’s creator.
↠ Thank and link back to the person that tagged you.
↠ Feel free to use the pre-made graphics or create your own. Credit is appreciated if you do.
↠ Answer the questions as best as you can. No answer is incorrect!
↠ Tag some people to do this tag. No minimum or limit. Spread the love and have a happy 2020 (2021?)

Good As Hell || Favourite Book

Spoilers! This’ll get its own post after the new year.

Green Light Go || Green Cover

Hands Off!, Vol. 1Hands Off! – This is a fluff supernatural manga about psychics. It’s very early 2000s, and I really like it.

 

 

LBD || Sexiest Character

I don’t have one! It’s been an age since I had one.

Dally || Best Moment of 2020

Honestly, it was nothing to do with a particular book, but my reading in general: I read over 170 books this year, and it’s insane.

Sin Querer Queriendo || Silly MC (or Side Character)

Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 1 (Ouran High School Host Club, #1)Literally every character in Ouran High Host Club. They’re all just so goofy.

 

 

7 Rings || New Books Friends

I made a bunch of book buddies this year! I followed a lot of new blogs – probably over a hundred, and I consider you all buddies

Kill This Love || First Book in 2021

I haven’t decided yet! I know I’ll be picking up a buddy read on New Year’s day, so perhaps that one? We’ll see!

~~~

And that’s it! If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!