Fantasy Bingo 2019-20 is finished! I did decent!

Copy of Book Tag

Today is March 31st, meaning r/Fantasy’s Bingo Challenge ends at midnight tonight. And considering none of the books I could possibly get done today would count for squares, I’m posting this now.

This is my final bingo card:

As you can see, I got six bingos: Three vertical, two horizontal, one diagonal. I had intended to fully fill the card, I even planned my 10 in 2020 around it, but.. well, I fell into a manga kick, and you can’t really use manga for this, so. I didn’t get there. But I did get bingos, so I’ll be entered for prizes. Next year, I’ll try for the full card.

If you are interested in participating in Fantasy Bingo, 2020’s card will be announced on the r/Fantasy subreddit tomorrow! And it’s exactly what it sounds like – a bingo for fantasy novels. All the rules and whatnot will be explained in the post that’ll go up, so I’m not gonna go into it here. But I’ve been participating in this since probably 2016 or so and it’s a lot of fun, so if you’re a fantasy lover I highly recommend it.

I’m very pumped for the new card tomorrow, and I’ll be making a post about it for sure – it’s going to be a bonus Wednesday or Thursday post, depending how late in the day the new card shows up.

And that’s it! If you participated this year or plan on it starting tomorrow, lemme know! Happy reading!

Characters of the year tag!

Book Tag

Hello, a tag today! I saw this tag on Zezee @ZezeeWithBooks‘s blog and she said to tag myself if I wanna so GUESS WHAT. This will be all the favorites from my 2019 reading year!

Favorite male character of the year

Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3)

I have to go with Zezee’s answer and say Fitz from the Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb. I’ve always liked Fitz, but in this trilogy series, he really, really grew on me. I love that he’s such a dumbass. And I don’t say this to bash him – I mean it like… he’s developed so well that his character flaws are very realistic. And Fitz’s happens to be… that he’s a dumbass. Every time there’s a plan to follow, he goes off on his own. Every time some mechanism is set in motion, he finds a way to fudge it up. But in his mind, the reasoning we’re given for him doing what he does, makes sense. He’s not dumb. His logic is usually sound, but at the same time, he trusts in others’ abilities so little that he tends to just do his own thing… and most of the time wrecks the overall motion of events as a result. Fitz is a dumbass. But I love him.

Favorite female character of the year

Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool, #1)

(spoiler for character introduction/family relation in Fool’s Assassin) Same series as above, but the character here is Bee, Fitz’ daughter. When she’s born, she’s born weak and small, and isn’t expected to make it. But she does, and as she grows, she becomes this intelligent, independent girl who slowly realizes the world is different than her upbringing suggests, and her growth as a result of it is one of my favorite character arcs. Bee is so great, and I hope that if Robin Hobb ever decides to continue in her Realm of the Elderlings series, that she writes book following Bee.

Most relatable character of the year

O Maidens in Your Savage Season 1

Basically the entire group of girls from O Maidens in Your Savage Season by Mari Okada. They’re all fifteen or so and are beginning to go through the ‘oh no, there are boys, what do I DO?!’ phase. It’s heart warming and endearing and reading it reminded me of the way my mind used to go ‘BUT WHAT!’ when I was a fifteen year old about literally everything. I love this series, it’s so cute.

Couple of the year

Ten Count, Vol. 1 (Ten Count, #1)

Shirotani and Kurose from Ten Count by Rihito Takari. I’ve only read the first volume so far so they’re not a couple yet but I know it’s comin’, man. I just know it. And despite what the cover suggests, there is a solid plot in this series. (and honestly, this first volume could have been rated T. I just assume it’s M because of content in later volumes.)  Everyone is just so sweet and cute and lovely.

Villain of the year

Land of the Lustrous, Vol. 1 (Land of the Lustrous, #1)

I use the term ‘villain’ here loosely because I always have trouble coming up with villains. But I really like the Lunarians in Land of the Lustrous by Haruko Ichikawa. This series really grew on me this year, and a lot of it is due to the development of this group called the Lunarians. They’re so odd but also understandable and I think they’re neat.

Most disliked character of the year

You (You #1)

Joe from You by Caroline Kepnes. Ugh, such a creep.

Royal of the year

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

Kelsea from The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Kelsea really grew on me, particularly in books two and three of this series. Back when I originally read book one, my main issue with it was that Kelsea was a bit unbelievable – her social skills were too developed for being literally only around two other people her entire life. But as the story continued and she continued to stick her to Lawful Goodness, she grew on me. I really like her.

Sidekick/non-main character of the year

Wild Ones, Vol. 1 (Wild Ones, #1)

The yakuza members from Wild Ones by Kiyo Fujiwara. Man, these guys cracked me up. This series follows the girl on the cover, who goes to live with her grandfather after her mother passes away, only to find out that her grandpa is a mob boss and lives in a house full of yakuza. And honestly, they’re so wholesome. A bit insane at times to be honest, but also funny and warm. I still need to get myself a copy of this series. They’re out of print so I need to just pick them up as I see them.

Sibling of the year

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)

Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. The amount of absolute shit that this girl goes through to save her brothers and bring them home is horrendous. The whole book follows this – Sorcha trying to save them – and man, they really owed her after all that. Wow, what a sister.

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

Bookshelf Tour – 2019!

10 in 2019

I’m aware it’s 2020. :”D I had meant to post this in December during the main chunk of Blogmas, but I didn’t get the photos together or my bookshelves organized in time, so it’s a bit delayed. But I’ll be posting one next December too and that will be the 2020 one. So bear with me here. If you’re interested, here’s my 2018 and 2017 tours. Any that I list as missing are currently lent out.

Also I have to double-stack now. IT’S TEARING ME APART. D’:

Overview of shelves

Nonfiction and Foreign Language

Missing: The Good Women of China

Manga, graphic novels, and 10 in 2020 books

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Missing: The Traitor Baru Cormorant, The Poppy War, Assassin’s Apprentice, Assassin’s Quest

Missing: Uprooted

Missing: Senline Ascends

Missing: Throne of Glass

Missing: The Bear and the Nightingale, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars

Horror, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Classics, Magical Realism, and Literary Fiction

Missing: Isle of Blood

And thaaaat’s it! Sorry some of the pics are a bit blurry, there’s a bug in the software of my camera on my phone that makes the autofocus go crazy. -_- Hopefully most of them came out ok.

Happy reading!

A decade in review: Favorite books and other stuff

top books 2017

This is gonna be a neat post!

PS I’m still grumpy that my comments were turned off for a month without my realizing it. Even if you have nothing to say about this post, say hi, because now I crave human interaction, augh.

So! Favorite reads of the decade. I’ve only been actively tracking my reading since 2011, when I joined Goodreads, so 2010 is gonna be a bit of a challenge to remember what I read.

I’m also gonna add in a bit of what I was doing each year… just because I don’t think a separate point on all that is warranted, but I wanna reminisce. It’ll all be in the second paragraph of each year, so you can skip that one if you’re not interested!


In 2010, I was doing mostly rereads if I remember. Before I started tracking my reading, I didn’t really branch out. I do have one book for this year though:

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I read this when I was in college for my psychology degree, in the one literature class that was required of me. The professor picked this out, and I remember being told to read 5 chapters a week… but I read the entire book in that first week. I couldn’t put it down. And then after, I would have to refresh myself each week on the contents of that week so I wouldn’t spoil anything for my classmates who were actually following the curriculum. It was a fun time, and thinking of this book reminds me of being in college for that degree (I went twice for two different ones).

I turned 20 in 2010. During this time, I was living off campus with my best friend in an apartment nearby. It was the first year I was doing it: the previous two years of college I attended were from home and at a community college. I was a junior, and experiencing self-management for the first time in my life. I adjusted to it quite well, I think. I was never late for class, I rarely skipped, I kept up my grades, and I made some good friends I still have to this day. 2010 was a good year.


Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #27)

2011 was the first year I joined Goodreads, and that year, I read 13 books. By far, my favorite was volume 27 of Fullmetal Alchemist. It’s the final volume of the series, and I read it right after it came out in December of that year. I adore this series, and the finale was so satisfying and I loved it.

In 2011, I was still in college, and in the fall, my senior year. I was living in the same apartment with my same friend, but that year we allowed another friend to move into our living room after their housing became unavailable. Honestly I kind of hated my life during that. The house became a disaster zone. It went from a comfy apartment to a place that I didn’t feel welcome, didn’t feel at home, didn’t feel like it was my space anymore. When I was home, I never left my room – I even kept my food that didn’t need refrigerated, my silverware and kitchen stuff in my room with me. I joined a bunch of clubs and stuff that year specifically so I wouldn’t have to be home. I hated my apartment that year. It was not a good situation for all three of us. The books I read that year though, were wonderful. A lot of them were library books, and I picked them because I was spending extra time at the campus library. They definitely got me through the year. Out of all these years, 2011 is the crappiest one.


The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

In 2012, I read 14 books. A lot of them were text books I read for classes. My favorite was The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. It’s such a dark, gristley book, and it honestly caught me off guard. I actually got creeped out reading this, and I loved it. I’ve since collected books two and three of the series but haven’t read them. I’ll have to reread this before I can read them, as I don’t remember the details of the book at this point, but I do remember the feelings I got. This was a great book, people. Definitely worth the read.

2012 was a very good year. I graduated college with a bachelor’s in psychology, I moved out of my apartment living arrangement and back in home with my parents. I was unemployed for the first three months after graduating, so I did some traveling! I went to Chicago in May or June to check out a grad school. That didn’t pan out but the friend I went with did, and shock, he is now my husband. We also went to historic Williamsburg, VA, and Busch Gardens in July that summer. My husband and I started officially dating in August, and in late August, I got a job as Therapeutic Staff Support, which was a decent job for what it was. I ended up working there for two years. And then the apocalypse didn’t happen in December of 2012 so that was nice.


The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)

According to Goodreads, I complete 0 books in 2013. I really dropped off reading that year – I didn’t buy much, and I didn’t read, either. I did however start The Dark City by Catherine Fisher in 2013, even though I didn’t actually complete it until 2014. So this is the one I’m going with. I really adore this series, mostly because it got me interested in reading again. You’ll see next year my reading picks up a lot. And I owe it to this series for doing it. It’s so underrated, I think – I’ve never seen anyone talk about it. It’s so good!

2013 was a decent year. It was very status-quo. I was working as a TSS, dating my husband, living at home. I did a bit of traveling, too. Went to Niagara Falls in March, went to Hershey, Harrisburg and Gettysburg all in one trip during the summer, and I went to my first ever ‘traditional’ rock concert: Infection Mushroom. Technically they’re electronic, not rock, but it’s the first one where I was in a mosh. It was intense, man. Also, the big rubber duck came to Pittsburgh!


In 2014, my reading bumped! I read 30 books that year! I actually have more than one favorite this year, so I’m gonna list a couple (and probably will do so from this year on):

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessSnow Crash by Neal StephensonMy faves were The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Both of these books really sparked me to read more, the first one in particular. I remember flying through this book, and I remember getting the next two right away and looking at them lovingly in my room.

2014 was an interesting year. I started this blog in 2014! I originally did so with the intent of starting a youtube after, but once I hit that deadline, I decided I liked the blog format better. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll start a youtube, but I have no plans to do so right now. I also quit my job as a TSS and went back to college to get another degree, this time in computer science. I also moved in with my husband this year. We’ve (obviously) been living together ever since. I remember my advisor showing me my class schedule and was like ‘You already have all the electives because of your first degree, but with the way the pre-reqs are stacked, you’ll still be here til Spring of 2017’ and I remember thinking ‘WOW THAT’S SO FAR AWAY’. Hahahahahah. hahahahahaha. ha.

I saw Sonata Arctica live for the first time in 2014, one of my favorite metal bands. I also went to Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton VA! During the fall I went to San Francisco to present a project I was involved in too!


In Order to Live by Yeonmi ParkThe Fold by Peter ClinesPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Martian by Andy Weir




In 2015, I really really jumped up the number of books I read. I finished a whopping 111 books! My blog was starting to take off, and I fell into the ‘THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS’ trap that we all hit when we join the book community and our eyes are opened to just how many books there are. Favorite of 2015 included In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, which I still think about, The Fold by Peter Clines, Perdido Street Station by China Mieville and The Martian by Andy Weir!

In 2015, I was in the middle of my computer science degree, and I got a job at the technology desk in the campus library, helping students with computer problems. This honestly is the best job I’ve ever had. I remember during winter break – Jan 2015, I was working full time, but barely anyone was there as it was winter semester, a short one between the two main fall/spring ones. I literally got paid to binge X-Files for a month at my work computer. My boss knew it too – he was in his office binging The Office. Spring 2015, I went to Washington DC for the Sakura Blossom Festival, which was the third time I done so but was still as neat as ever, and then in the summer, I went to Rehoboth Beach with my husband’s family, and to Niagara Falls again (I like it there, pbtbt). I also went to Ohio and saw Nightwish live for the first time, my favorite ever metal band.


Assassin's Apprentice by Robin HobbUprooted by Naomi NovikLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. CoreyIn 2016, my reading dropped a bit, 56 books. I started getting more and more into thick fantasy books, so while I read fewer, I had a lot of new favorites as a result. Namely, I started reading Robin Hobb, and finished out the entire Farseer trilogy that year. I buddy read I think from book two onward with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks (that means we’ve known each other for at least four years now, wow!). Robin Hobb has since become one of my favorite authors of all time and will stay there forever. Other favorites of the year were Uprooted by Naomi Novik and Leviathan’s Wake by James S. A. Corey, which really awakened my interest in science fiction.

2016 was full of traveling. I was still in college but used my breaks to my advantage: Went to Prospect, New Haven, and Mystic Connecticut in March to visit a buddy, went to Philadelphia in the summer, and the biggest trip of all: went to Malaysia in December to see one of my best friends get married. I met my friend when we were 14 and 16 respectively online on of all places. We kept in touch all this time, talked daily for years, then talked less often as we got older and started jobs/school/etc etc. We stayed in touch though. It became a running joke that when she got married, that she’d invite me. When she finally did get engaged, she said, “So.. are you coming?” So I did. I flew literally to the other side of the planet and saw my bestie get married, and it was wonderful.

A month before we flew out, my husband and I got engaged! I proposed to him with a gummy bear and it went horribly, but he still said yes for some reason, so that was neat. I also got an internship at a software company that would end up offering me a job upon graduation, so that was really nice, too. 2016 was a great year for me. For the country? Not so much. But for me, it was wonderful.


The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonThe Black Prism by Brent WeeksIn 2017 my reading dropped a tad more, 50 books. The reasoning, I know was my work load with my classes. It was nuts. But more about that in paragraph two. My favorite books this year were The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson and The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. The first, I’ve reread since and the second I’m still working on my initial read of the series. I’m on book four now! I read a lot of really great books this year, despite the number itself being smaller. I’m ok with that though – I’d rather read fewer and love them than read more and not like them.

In 2017, I went to Niagara Falls again (this is the last time, I promise). I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, took the weekend off, and then started work the following Monday as a software developer at a software firm. I still work there to this day! I like it there, it’s neat. My workload my final semester though was insane. Like, it was crazy. During this final semester – Spring of 2017 – I had my first panic attack. I’ve only had a couple since then, but the way my own professor taught my course, the way he pressured us, the workload he gave, the threats he gave about failing us, it just got to me. I mean, he was a smart guy, and actually really nice outside of class, but in class? He literally gave me anxiety. Before this I had none. Now I have some, and I blame him for it. Woot. PS – the whole ‘YOUR WORK WILL TREAT YOU EXACTLY LIKE THIS’ he jammed down our throats during class is not true. My work is the chillest damned place.

I also got married in 2017! We tied the knot on Aug 1st, the day of our five year dating anniversary. We had a small cook out in my in-laws’ back yard with about fifty people and it was lovely. The next day, we left on our honeymoon and spent two weeks on a cruise ship floating around Hawaii. This was the best trip of my life and I almost… mourn it? That it’s over? It was such a happy time in my life, so care-free, so warm and magical. I really, really miss my honeymoon. I also ended up going back to Connecticut over Christmas break to visit my buddy again, and that was a blast as well!


Senlin Ascends by Josiah BancroftSpinning Silver by Naomi NovikWotakoi by FujitaGolden Fool by Robin Hobb




2018 was a good reading year. With school over, I got more time to indulge again. I read 88 books in 2018, and I really liked a lot of them. My favorites that year were Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, Wotakoi by Fujita and the top of them all: Golden Fool by Robin Hobb. I liked the whole Tawny Man trilogy by Hobb, but Golden Fool was by far my favorite. Man, I get all warm and happy just thinking about it now. This is the year I really think I honed my reading tastes. I got rid of a lot of books I had that I realized weren’t for me.

2018 was another status quo year, a good one. Working, married, yada yada. Went to see the Foo Fighters live, definitely a bucket list thing, and went to Chicago again for my one year anniversary. In the fall, over Halloween, went to Disney World for the first time in my life, along with Universal too! And in December, Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff came and visited me for a week! I met her shortly after meeting my Malaysia buddy – she actually introduced me! So we three and one other who I have yet to meet in person are all buds, and I’ve been trying to see them in person now that I’m an adult with like… money. One day, all four of us will meet together. ❤


Deathless by Catherynne M. ValenteAssassin's Fate by Robin HobbO Maidens in Your Savage Season 1 by Mari Okada

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson




2019 was another boom year when it came to books – 118 of them! I really got back into manga this year. When I was in high school I read almost solely manga, and while I still read occasionally this decade, I didn’t nearly as much as I did this year. So much good stuff is coming out, man. So much. Some favorites for this year are Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb, O Maidens in Your Savage Season by Mari Okada, and The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. All of these books are stellar, and I really recommend you pick them up (and their prequels, very necessary)

2019 was good! Same job, same husband! Went again to Connecticut in the spring, where I stayed again with my buddy pal. In the summer, I went to an anime convention for the first time. Me, Katy @Bookbinderway and Sarah @WindsorWrites piled into a car with all our stuff, and zoomed over to DC for Otakon, which is one of the largest anime conventions in the country. And man, was that awesome. I’m going to another in February with them too and I’m so pumped! Shortly after, for our second anniversary, my husband and I went to New York City, both to just see what all the hubbub was and to see Moulin Rouge in Broadway, which is something I’ve wanted to do since before it was a broadway show. That’s my favorite movie, by the way. So it was a bucket list thing I’ve had since like 2004. And it was grand. I’ll tell you what though: NYC is stinky. I liked the stuff we did there but the city itself is so smelly! Augh!

I also saw Iron Maiden live this year, and it was totally awesome!

And that’s it. Ten years of books, of life, of travel, of music, of friends and family. It was all lovely, and writing all this out made me both happy and sad at the same time. I turn 30 later this year and to think at the beginning, I was just turning 20. It’s weird, it’s weird, it’s weird.

If you took the time to read this, thank you. If you didn’t, that’s ok too, I know I rambled a lot.

I hope you all had a good decade. I did.

Favorite books of 2019!

top books 2017

Today’s the day to talk about my favorite books of the year! All of these books, with the exception of the first honorable mention, were five star reads for me, new all-time favorites.

Honorable mention

The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3)

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – This book got a 4.75 stars from me, the only book that did this year. This is the finale to Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling series and honestly, I still don’t know how I feel about the ending. It was perfect but also terrible, and I think that’s why it got rated so high. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I really recommend doing so.

2019 Favorites

Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik – This is the eighth book in the Temeraire series, and I feel one of the strongest (though… none of them got below a four, don’t think I didn’t love them all). I think what I appreciate about this book the most was that it took a trope I hated and did something different with it. I actually made a post about it: The Amnesia trope, and I made it because I was hesitating about reading this book. But man, this book proved to me that the amnesia trope can actually be handled well. This was an awesome book.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics by Hiromu Arakawa – I don’t know what I was expecting with this little comic collection, but it definitely wasn’t ‘this’ll be a favorite book of the year’. This book collects all the little side comics at the end of the manga, in the dvd releases and in the blu-ray releases of both animes. It puts them all in a fashion roughly linear to the main plot of Fullmetal Alchemist (which, if you haven’t read, is fantastic). Maybe I was just feeling nostalgic for this series, who knows, but I really, really enjoyed this. It was funny and endearing and just such a joy to read.

The Monster Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #2)

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – Second book syndrome, what’s second book syndrome? This book’s never heard of it. Monster Baru is the second installment to Dickinson’s Masquerade series, and the first book, The Traitor Baru Cormorant made my favorites list back in 2017. And this, this was no different. It took the story so much farther, opened the world so much, and made our main character Baru so much more complicated. I loved every single second.

O Maidens in Your Savage Season 1

O Maidens in Your Savage Season vol 1 by Mari Okada – It’s kind of hard for a single volume of manga to get a five stars from me, let alone the first volume of a series, when all the characters are still being introduced and the plot is still being laid out… usually it’s like, set-up, right? This one though, plops you right in, and man, does it make you feel like a fifteen year old right away. This book was so refreshing. It was funny, it was endearing, and it was just so pleasant. I’ve been collecting the series since and while none of the other volumes have matched the five stars of this one, the series is still going strong and I’m hoping volume 5 that just came out upholds its predecessors.

Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3)

Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb – Let’s be real here, I knew way back at the first book of this trilogy that if Hobb ended the series in a good, strong way, the last book would be definitely getting five stars. And guess what, she pulled it off. I really, really loved the ending of this. I’d heard iffy things going in so I was a bit nervous, but once I finished it, there was no doubt in my mind: This is a favorite book. I loved this book. I read this – along with basically all the other Robin Hobb Realm of the Elderlings books with Zezee @ZezeeWithBooks and I’m pretty sure we both adored it. It’s the end of an era and I don’t know what to do with myself now.

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – This book was on my first and only 5 star predictions post…. and so far, it’s the only one to hit the mark. I have a couple left to go and I’ll get to those. But this. This book was fantastic. It’s disjointed and lilting and dark and gritty and whimsical… everything I wanted. It’s a story about Koschei the Deathless, a figure in Russian mythology, and I found the way Valente wrote about him and the story around him to be really fantastical. It really felt like a fairy tale, and I loved it. I loved it.

And those are all my five star books of the year! I read 118 things this year, and only these six made the five star list. I’m hoping I read just as many books next year, with even more five stars mixed in.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful reading year. Happy reading!

Bottom Books of 2019!

worst books

Happy Friday, the day that feels like Tuesday! Today, I talk about all the books that I disliked or disappointed me throughout the year. Luckily there weren’t that many this year, so that means this post will be short (is that bad or good?!). All books here will have a 2.5 star rating or lower: 2.5 for me is the first ‘I disliked’ it rating. Any higher, and I was neutral about the book at least.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman2.5 stars – To be fair to this book, I realized this year that I dislike anthologies in general. Beforehand, I had an inkling that it was the format and not the stories, but reading this really solidified that. So unfortunately, it took the brunt of that discovery by taking this rating. None of the stories had an impact on me and honestly I can’t tell you a single thing about any one of them other than one of the main characters in one of the stories liked dancing. That was it. This book had zero lasting impression. And that was the reason for the low rating: It bored me.

I appreciate what it was trying to do: It gathered stories from different Asian cultures and showing that hey, yes, there are all sorts of stories from Asia that are about totally different cultures and peoples and languages and creeds, but…. the execution was lacking.

StarCraft: Frontline, Volume 1 (Starcaft)

StarCraft: Frontline vol 1 by Paul Morrissey2 starsThis one was a bummer. I’m a huge fan of StarCraft, so I was hoping to love this. I love the lore of the StarCraft world, I love the characters, I love the game play… but this story was difficult. It trudged through what little plot it had, the artistic style made the reading experience feel dense, and considering it’s a manga, making it feel dense was some feat. So overall, it was not a good experience for me, and I won’t be continuing it. I’m hoping to pick up Heaven’s Devil this year, a novel in the StarCraft universe, and now I’m antsy that it’s gonna feel the same way as this did. Augh. Fingers crossed.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy, #1)

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James1.5 stars – This book, ladies and gents, was the most disappointing one of the year for me. I bought it on release day, and I started it right away… aaaaand I hated it. The only reason it didn’t get a straight one star from me is because I finished it. I only give 1s to books that I can’t finish because they’re so awful. But this one, I did. I think it was because I was mad at having dropped over twenty bucks on the thing, only to end up hating it so much. So I read it out of spite. I got my money’s worth, dammit. (Or did I?)

Anyways, nothing in this book agreed with me. I hated the main character, I hated the side characters, I hated the plot, I hated the shock-factor violence, and I hated the way that sexual violence was just a part of society in the book, not called out as bad, never questioned as ‘hey maybe we shouldn’t literally rape people to death’, and even was promoted by the main character. It really was just a gross book, and it rubbed me the wrong way. If you could get past that and liked it, props to ya, but for me? Ew.

And that… that is it! I only had three books this year that fell below a 3 star, and while that’s good because it means I liked most of what I read, it kinda leaves my ‘worst of’ post a little bare bones. That’s okay though – I’d rather have a short post and more books that I liked than visa versa.

If you read any of these books, lemme know! If you liked them, tell me why! If you didn’t, commiserate with me!

2019: A reading year in review, statistics, the whole shebang


 Happy 2020

Today, I will be going over my reading year, my goals, my stats, and at the end I’ll be doing that ‘end of year’ survey thing. I’ll divide it by sections in case you’re only interested in bits and pieces of everything.

Here we go:

PS: If you wanna be buddies on Goodreads, add me, pal.

2019 Reading Goals

Originally posted as ‘2019 Reading Goals‘ on Jan 2nd, 2019

  • Read 50 books – Complete

I hit 118 things this year!

I was so close to this one. So damned close. As of writing this, I’m half way through the tenth and final book on the list, Interview with the Vampire, but with my schedule today (I’m technically writing this on the 31st), I know I’m not going to finish it. It’s just not feasible, unless I read every single second of time I have where I’m not socializing, and honestly that’ll make me hate the book, so I’m cutting myself a break. So when I do finish this book, I’ll consider this list ‘complete’. Nine out of ten though, that’s definitely the farthest I’ve ever gotten on one of these lists, and I’m proud of that.

  • Keep book purchases around 4-5 books per month – Iffy

Some months I definitely stuck to it. Some I didn’t. Here’s the breakdown:

    • January – 5
    • February – 6
    • March – 7
    • April – 0
    • May – 0
    • June – 3
    • July – 5
    • August – 5
    • September – 5
    • October – 2
    • November – 5
    • December – 6

On average, this is about four books per month, but I don’t wanna call it a win because I did go over a couple months, even if I stayed under overall.

  • Go on a 2 to 3 month buying ban – Complete

I went on a two and a half month ban this year between April 1st and June 16th, and I didn’t falter the whole time.

  • Reduce physical TBR to 250 books. It currently sits at 283 – Complete

I hit 249! This is pre-Christmas-gifts though, so it’s up by a couple again, but that’s ok. I hit it, and was sitting there comfortably on December 24th, haha

I’ve since started participating in the next one, finishing March 31s, 2020. That’ll be a resolution for this coming year.

  • Post monthly book hauls – Complete

If you’re interested, all except April and May have them because I was on a ban.

Jan | Feb | Mar | Jun |Jul | Aug | Sep| Oct| Nov| Dec

  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule – Iffy

I maintained this part of the year, especially the last few months and the first few, but for a couple months I was kinda just floating:

J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D

I kept it up 6 out of 12 months, and for November and December especially, I’ve been doing even more posting than just three days per week. That’s why I’m marking this as not an utter fail.

  • Keep track of statistics – Complete

Did I neglect this all year and than record everything in one afternoon a day ago? Yes. But I did it, dammit, I have the stats.

Out of the nine resolutions I had, I completed six, half-assed two and failed at one.

66% is a passing grade, dammit. D+, yeah!

Reading Statistics

So I last-minute-to-complete-my-goal recorded a whole bunch of stats! Here they are!

October was by far my best reading month – I read 23 things! That was the month I buzzed through the Kiss Him, Not Me! manga series, which was 14 volumes long, so this doesn’t shock me.

I find it interesting that while I read more books in October, I read more pages in August. October was mostly manga, August was mostly books due to the Newts Magical Readathon.

So out of the 118 books I read this year, format-wise:

  • 71 were manga
  • 6 were graphic novels
  • 11 were hard backs
  • 11 were paper backs
  • 4 were mass market paper backs
  • 2 were ebooks
  • 13 were audio books


  • 71 were manga
  • 6 were graphic novels
  • 36 were novels
  • 4 were novellas
  • 1 was an anthology

Genres! As usual, fantasy was my most read genre, but shojo manga made the second-most. What can I say, I’m a sap. Then there was sci-fi, slice of life, and then down from there.

Page-wise the balance is a bit different. Basically half the pages I read this year were fantasy. They tend to be longer books, so this doesn’t shock me, haha

Length-wise, most of the books I read were between 100 and 200 pages, and this makes sense as I read like 60% manga this year. All the longs ones I guarantee you are fantasy.

This I found interesting, mostly because my most read year was 2017, as opposed to 2018 or this year. And then there were a bunch published in the 2000s, and I’m pretty sure they’re mostly manga. No classics this year.

20 of the books I read this year were borrowed – either from a friend or from Scribd. All the audio books fall within this category. 51 were books I bought this year, 34 were ones I already owned from the previous year, and 13 were library books.

Age-wise, I read all over the place:

  • 40 were manga rated T
  • 26 were manga rated OT
  • 5 were manga rated M
  • 33 were adult novels
  • 12 were young adult
  • 1 was middle grade
  • 1 was new adult

I apparently read pretty diversely this year, though honestly I didn’t try to do it on purpose. Like… I didn’t try to not read diversely either, I just picked up what interested me, and most of them happened to be diverse! So neat! Only twenty-one books I read this year weren’t diverse in some fashion.

Author-wise, the most I read were from Japan, which, manga, makes sense. Then the US, and the UK making a very far-back third place.

Author’s gender-wise, I read from mostly women, followed by men, and it looks like unknown and multiple authors were tied for third.

And protagonist-wise, looks like I read from mainly female protagonists, too, followed by male, followed by casts of characters

And finally, the ratings. I had mostly three to four star books this year. It makes sense. 3 stars for me is ‘I liked it’ and 4 is ‘I really liked it’. I reserve 5s for ‘this is a new all-time favorite’ so even if I love a book, I won’t give it a five unless I decide it’s a new favorite… which explains the 4.5s and the 4.75s up there. I did have a handful of new favorites this year though, which is great, and will be discussed in another post.

End of Year Survey

This was created by Perpetual Page Turner and I’m swiping it like Swiper.

Number Of Books You Read: 118
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

There are a handful, and I don’t wanna spoil them here because there will be a whole post about it. The suspense!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

Illuminae, in a good way. I honestly figured it was going to be middle of the road for me, and then I ended up really liking it!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter! I got two separate people to read it this year, yay.

 5. Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?

O Maidens in Your Savage Season 1 by Mari Okada Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

Starter: O Maidens in Your Savage Season vol 1
Sequel: Blood of Tyrants
Ender: Assassin’s Fate

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Susan Dennard for sure. I’m on the third book of this series now and am enjoying it as much as I did in the beginning!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

You by Caroline Kepnes

You. It was unsettling. I liked it for the most part, but maaaaan.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Wild Ones, Vol. 1 by Kiyo Fujiwara

Wild Ones, the entire series. I think I buzzed through the 10 volumes it has in what, three days? Maybe four?

 9. Book You Read In 2019 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

I say this because I know I will: The third one is coming out, and I’ll need a refresher.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

Land of the Lustrous, Vol. 4 (Land of the Lustrous, #4)

I really like all the bright covers of the Land of the Lustrous series

11. Most memorable character of 2019?

League of Dragons by Naomi Novik

Temeraire the dragon from Novik’s Temeraire series. He’s such a puppy.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019?

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

No doubt.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?

Nod by Adrian Barnes

Life changing? Not really. Definitely though provoking though. I still think about this one, man.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

It should be a modern classic, really.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?

I don’t have one…. I don’t really mark quotes and stuff I like. I should but I don’t.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

See above! It’s up in the goodreads stuffs.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most?

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen


18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

I don’t have any! Pbtbtbt.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

Obviously the one between Fitz and the Fool. It’s so damned wholesome and I love it ;~;

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik

21. Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 1 by Ryoko Kui

Based on a rec from Sionna @Bookinhereyes, and I ended up rather digging it!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?


23. Best 2019 debut you read?

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Food Wars!, Vol. 1 by Yuto Tsukuda

This series is insane.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?

Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb

It’s the end of an era.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Ten Count, Vol. 1 by Rihito Takarai

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

None! No soul crushers this year. Bit of a shame.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019?

I feel like… I feel like picking one is hard. -_- There are SO MANY 😀 I feel like it wouldn’t be fair to just pick one when I wanna list fifty but am too lazy to list fifty!

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2019?

Probably the Manga Recs for Beginners one!

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2019:?

Hopefully it shows up. Also, shameless plug to ig.

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

Probably r/Fantasy’s Bingo!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?

Blogmas! I love blogmas.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Blogmas! I love blogmas.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Weirdly, it was my review on Silver Spoon! It must have been linked somewhere, because I wrote it back in January, but it consistently still gets a couple hits per day.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Honestly, I can’t pick one out!

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Honestly the fact that more of my friends are readers than I thought were, haha

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

…Scroll up and reread the top half of my post. :”D

Looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?

I made a whole post about this the other day!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?

There will be a post on this too coming up, but a sneak preview:

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #3)

3. 2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Seep

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

Malorie (Bird Box, #2)

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

Keep being consistent!

6. A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

LOL ‘already read’. I don’t get arcs, I’m too small.

And that – that is it. 2019 is done, 2020 is here, and it’s time to bounce into a new reading year. If you’re new here, welcome, I hope you think I’m neat. If you’ve been here for a while, thanks for sticking around – I appreciate you.

December Wrap Up! ’19

Blogmas 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve! I figured before I begin all the ‘year’ and ‘decade’ ender lists, I should wrap up what I read for the month.

This month was a bit of a slow reading month for me, due to Christmas stuff and work and whatnot. I liked what I read though, so I’m happy with it.


Land Of The Lustrous, Vol. 8

Land of the Lustrous vol 8 and 9 by Haruko Ichikawa – This continues to be a super neat series. The farther I get into it, the more I like it. With volume 9 read, I’m caught up as to what’s out and available! – 3.5 stars each

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – I ended up really, really liking this book. It was a buddy read I did with my buddy Ashley, and she actually ended up giving it five stars. I think the only thing that kept it from being the same for me was the pacing at the end, it seemed, well, rushed and slow at the same time, it’s hard to explain. But I really enjoyed this and am gonna pick up the second one! – 4.5 stars

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – Ending the year with a bang, I’m tellin’ ya. I had a feeling I was gonna love this book, and I was right. I must say though, it’s one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. The plot was disjointed and lilting and melancholy and whimsical and dark and just… weird. I loved it, though. It felt like a fairy tale, albeit not one for children. The plot was disjointed, as mentioned, but it kinda made the experience better. It made it feel more like a story piecing together bits of myth here and legend there instead of a straight narrative, if that makes sense. Usually I wouldn’t dig something like this but… I don’t know, Valente really made it work. I love that I’m ending the reading year – the reading decade with a five star read. Love it, love it, love it. – 5 stars

Other things

  • Nothing really, except Christmas! Merry late Christmas! And Happy Holidays! Yada yada!

Reading Goals

You’ll find out tomorrow, now won’t you.

And that’s it! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful reading year like I did!

Seasonal Favorites aka the best time of the year | #3

Blogmas 2019

Today is the final installment of my seasonal favorites posts! If you’re interested, you can see part 1 and part 2 here.


Irish Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks – Man, I’ve been living off these things. They. Are. Delicious. I’ll be sad when they’re gone.

Rooibos tea – I think this has made my faves list before, back when I did them as a normal monthly thing. It’s my favorite tea ever, perfect year round

Cookies – These are the cookies that Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff sent me! I’ve been munching on them since they got here earlier this week, and it’s making my tummy jiggle extra. Whoops

Crunchy Cookie butter – see above for what it’s doing to my tummy, yo.


Terraria – (game play trailer above). I’ve been playing this for years, but this past month I’ve really jumped back into it. It’s kinda like… Minecraft? But way better, man.

Other Stuff

Weighted blanket – my husband kindly got me a weighted blanket for Christmas this year. As you can see I’ve already forfeited ownership of it to the cat. It was good while it lasted.

Phipps’ Winter Lights Show – Phipps Convervatory in Pittsburgh decks out its greenhouse every year with Christmas decorations, resulting in essentially a wonderland. Really, it’s gorgeous. If you’re ever in Pittsburgh during December, it’s worth going, man.

Not so subtle plug to my instagram, but here are the rest of the photos I took there too, if you’re interested

And that’s it! This was a fun series, and I hope to do it again next year! For now, we’ve got the boring part of the year to look forward to. Until next August when it starts to get fun again. 😛

Top 5 books I didn’t get to in 2019

Blogmas 2019

So at this point in time, I’m very aware of what books I’ll be focusing on from now until the end of the year. I made a post about it the other day, in fact. But that means there are books I obviously didn’t get to. This post will be about those, and hopefully they’ll get picked up shortly into 2020.

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)

The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang – Bought this I think the day after release day and then…. never picked it up! The third one’s been announced now, so now I’m pressured.


I read Dark Matter this year by Blake Crouch and really liked it, so I wanted to pick up this, Recursion, as well. Just didn’t get there unfortunately.

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter – I picked this up on impulse without knowing anything about it, was (and am) excited for it, and haven’t read it yet. Whoops. The cover looks super neat.

The Library of the Unwritten (Hell's Library #1)

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwitch – When I bought this one, I was surprised to see that it was released in paperback! It just came out this year and went directly to paperback. So obviously I grabbed it, hauled it, and now it sits on my shelf looking pretty.

The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks – Does this really surprise anyone? It’s been on my ‘currently reading’ for literally a year. I really, really need to finish this book. One day? One day.

And that’s it! Tomorrow’s post will be my 10 in 2020, and some of these may end up on there, we’ll see. Until then!