Mid-Year Review on 2015 Reading Goals!

At the end of last year, I made this post about 15 books that I really wanted to get to in 2015, and I also made this post about general reading resolutions and this post about a 2015 TBR Jar Challenge. So now that it’s July, I’ma look to see how I’ve been doing with those!

First off, the reading resolutions. Since I don’t want to hop back and forth between this post and that one, here’s a transcript of what they were, and the bolded ones are ones I’ve stuck to!

– Read 30 books throughout the year – the more the better, though
– Focus on sequels and stand-alones,
– Buy only 6 books for the 30 read (1 purchase every 5 books)
– Write reviews for at least 50% of the books read
– Separate ‘to-be-read’ books onto their own bookcase. Yes, entire bookcase.
– Go through ‘to-be-read’ books and decide whether or not I’ll actually ever feel like reading them. If not, give away or donate them. These do not count towards the ‘5 books’ count to purchase a new book

So so far, not bad. I’ve done four out of six. For the buy 1 for 5, I blame that damn library sale. Not counting that, I’ve stuck to that goal… but I’ve got to count it. xD And I’m slacking on my reviews. Must write more!

For the TBR Jar Challenge the goals were the following (the ones I’ve drawn from the jar will be italic, and if I actually completed it, bolded as well)

-Read a book with 500+ pages
-Reread a favorite book May
-Read a 2015 debut novel
-Read a book that someone else picks April
-Read a book that you’ve never heard of before
-Begin reading a new graphic novel/graphic novel series July
-Read a new-to-you author
-Read a book that is not a novel (DNF’d) January
-Read/watch a book and its adaptation
-Read an award winning novel (Forgot about, didn’t attempt) June
-Read a classic novel (DNF’d) March
-Read a series finale February

So out of the seven challenges so far, I’ve completed four of them. Not awesome. Not terrible, but not awesome. For the one I didn’t attempt, I forgot about it because I looked on my shelves and found I didn’t have any award winners… and then I forgot to buy or rent one. :”D Oopy.

And finally, the 15 ind 2015 goal. The books I wanted to read (and the bolded ones I’ve completed) were:

1. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #2)
2. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking #3)
3. Victory of Eagles by Naomi Novik (Temeraire #5)
4. Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik (Temeraire #6)
5. The Scar by China Mieville (Bas Lag/New Crobuzon #2)
6. Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey (Monstrumologist #2)
7. The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (Monstromologist #3)
8. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)
9. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (Shanghai Girls #2)
10. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
11. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
12. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
13. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
14. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
15. The Future of the Mind by Michio Kaku

By this point, I should have read 7 or 8 of them… guess who’s just slacking all around midway through the year. Time’s up, it’s me. :”D All of these books I still do want to read. Hopefully I’ll be able to combine these books with the remaining TBR Jar challenges and speed up the process a bit.

Welp, that’s all folks. Midyear wrap up out of the way. Hopefully I’ll have better results come December. Happy reading :”D

April Currently Reading

And now it has come full circle. Starting with ‘to-be-read’, then went to ‘currently reading and to-be-read’ and now it’s just currently reading. Because let’s face it, I don’t stick to tbrs whatsoever. So what I’m going to do is still pull a slip from my tbr jar, try to read that book, and then otherwise just read what I’m already reading and whatever I feel like reading next. Dammit.

As mentioned in my previous post, my tbr jar slip from last month was ‘Read a classic’, which I picked A Clockwork Orange and got about halfway through it. So I’m going to be continuing that one. And my slip for this month iiiiiiis (drum roll):


Read a book that somebody else picks! Obviously I don’t know what that is yet :”D I shall find out soon enough I suppose. And regardless of whether or not I actually finish it, it’ll be mentioned in my wrap up at the end of the month.

So with these books, this month I am reading/will be reading:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
(Book somebody else picks) by (author of that book)
A Game of Thrones (audiobook) by George RR Martin
Life, The Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams

What are you reading this month? How do you do when it comes to sticking to a tbr?

February TBR 2015

This month’s TBR is going to be a bit shorter than last month’s. Classes suck butts. I never thought I’d say I missed working, but I miss working. I’m not used to the homework, even after being back in school for a semester already. I need time management skills! Anyway, on to the shortened TBR.

LIMG_0985ike last month, I pulled a slip from my TBR Jar, part of the Challenge set by Katytastic on youtube. And this month, I got ‘Read a series finale’. When I pulled that one, my brain froze. I wasn’t at any point in a series to read a finale. And then I remember I picked up The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness last week, so I’m going to finish that and then read Of Monsters and Men, finishing the Chaos Walking trilogy. (I also have a novella in that series on my tablet, so we’ll see if I get to that or not).

Otherwise, I think I’m going to try to participate in #yearofcosmere, a year-long read-a-long created by a few different people on youtube. It’s a read-along to go through all of Brandon Sanderson’s books that are set in his Cosmere universe. I own two Brandon Sanderson novels and have been meaning to start them, so why not now? February’s book is The Final Empire, first book in the Mistborn Trilogy. This book sounds really fascinating – the magic system alone sounds cool. This one I will probably have to get from the library, since after the Patrick Ness books, I won’t have made another 5 books read to buy one. (unless I go crazy and read a lot of manga again) If you’d like to learn more about YearofCosmere, here and here and here are a few different videos explaining them by a few different founders of the read-along (there are a lot more, these are just the ones that popped into my head first).

So yes: Three books. Wish me luck.

January Wrap-Up 2015

If you follow my blog, earlier in the month I wrote a TBR for January. I kinda-sorta-alittlebit stuck to it. My goal was to read five books. Well, I read six books! Which is unheard of for me. Only problem is they weren’t all on the list of stuff for me to read.

My TBR Jar Challenge for January was to read a book that was not a novel. I had decided to pick up Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon. This book is written by a regressionist who logs her sessions with a man whom she is regressing. Regression is a form of hypnosis in which one can go so far under that it’s claimed they can recall past lives. So first of all, you need to decide whether or not that you believe this is possible (or at least, decide whether you will accept it as being a possibility). I fall into the parentheses category. Without getting too much into spiritualism and so on, I feel like anything is possible and a human being does not have the brain capacity to understand everything. So I can’t 100% deny that regression is possible. So I went into it with as open of a mind as I could muster.

So I sat down to read the book and soon enough, the man being regressed recalled a live that was not of human origin. An extra-terrestrial past live. It. Was. Awesome. The man went into how his life had went, what energies were used in space, etc. I found it all very fascinating. But, I ended up putting the book down. Why, but I thought you were enjoying it Emily?! Well I was, but it got to the point where it seemed to, I don’t know, drag I guess? Like, it was one of those books that had me thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it, which is great, but I found myself feeling like it was a chore to read it after a while. I guess I felt like the author’s message was taking too long to get across. I got bored, which spells defeat when reading a book. I found myself skimming, and if I’m skimming, I’m not reading. And if I’m not reading, why read the book. So I put it down.

Keep in mind, I’m a child of the age of technology so my attention span is shit. If this book sounds interesting to you, by all means pick it up. Don’t let my lack of focus deter you. The bits that I did read I would easily read 4.5/5 stars. And who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again. But for now, I’m giving it a break. Hopefully I’ll have more luck with my next TBR Jar Challenge month.

Otherwise, I did complete six books, three of which were on my January TBR post. The one above I feel was my only failure (as of yet, huhuh) Those would be:

Perdido Street Station by China Mievielle. This one is a steampunky fantasy-y, sci-fi-y book set in the most intricately written city that I’ve ever come across. This one took me a while to get through, but I’m so glad I did. I rated it 4.25/5 stars and my review can be found here.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Easily my favorite book so far. Loved it, solid 5 stars. I don’t know why I never read this before. I think I’m goofy. One thing to note though – in my tbr list, I mentioned wanting to read the compilation of all 5 books as one book. Well, I’m breaking them up. I’ve read the first one (so there). Currently on the second, which will show up in my tbr for january.

The Diviners by Libba Bray. This one I read as part of the Reading Adventures Book Club on goodreads. I rated this one a 4.5/5 stars. My review for it can by found here.

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit volumes 1 and 2 by Motoro Mase: This is a manga that I’ve had on my shelf for a long time. I own the first 6 volumes I belileve out of the 9 that are out – I don’t know if that’s the end of the series or not, but that’s how many there currently are. I read them a long time ago when I was in high school and decided to do so again (plus, a book came out that I wanted to buy, and i needed to read two more books to be able to buy a book, as per my read-five-buy-one rule, so these were perfect.) Ikigami is a strange bird. It has a very 1984y premise and it feels very dark and twisted. So far, both volumes have been 3 stars (which is a ‘I like this, will continue it’ rating from me). If you’re into messed up things, read this.

And the final book I read this month (which is the one I bought with my five other books being completed) was:
Saga volume 4 by Brian K Vaughn. Easily, easily easily five stars. If you have not read this yet, I highly suggest doing so. If you like Star Wars or sci-fi or cool creatures or anything like that, you will love this. It’s what is folding out to be an epic space opera, and I can’t wait for the next volume (I might even buy individual issues, I don’t know. We’ll see how long my withdraw symptoms from this series last).

So that’s what I read this month. I know my reading is going to slow down, if the last two weeks of classes are anything to go by, so I think my February tbr will be shorter. It’ll be posted up next. Thanks for reading!

January TBR 2015

“It’s time to begin, isn’t it?”

Happy early New Year to all of you who have subscribed to me (thank you!) and to those who have only just come across my blog (hello!). I know it’s two days early, but I have a feeling I’m going to be hungover on New Years and therefore won’t be able to type coherently let alone decide what books to read. My New Year’s Eve is going to consist of watching the ball drop on my couch with my SO. The two of us will drink champagne and other alcohols while feasting on a wonderful meal of Stouffer’s mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. It will be splendid. :”D

So I’m picking my books today. Because champagne usually kicks my ass.

First, if you remember, I decided to join Katytastic’s TBR Jar Challenge. And if you also remember, I mentioned needing a jar. Well… I found a jar. It was full of hot chocolate powder, though. So after a lot of hot chocolate drinking, I now have a jar!

IMG_0909Instead of a typical tbr jar that contains all the names of books I have yet to read, this one contains twelve challenges to complete. Each month, I will draw one and in addition to the rest of my tbr list for the month, I’ll read a book that fulfills the challenge on the slip I pull. So I pulled one:


A book that is not a novel. As I’m writing this right now, I have no idea what I will read to fulfill this, but by the time you get to the bottom of this post, I will have gotten up, gone through my books and chosen one to add onto the list (it’ll be at the bottom of my list since I already know what the others are, yay). So onto my January to-be-read!

 1. S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst

This book I’m very much looking forward to getting farther into. This is the most intriguing book I think I’ve ever come across in my 24 years of reading books. The book itself contains another book. Goodreads probably does a better job describing it than me, but here I go, my best shot:

The book within is called “Ship of Theseus” by VM Straka. As you read this book, you notice it is translated by someone who has schizophrenia and is obsessed with Straka. Then you begin to see notes scrawled in the margins by someone who has also read the book. Soon after a second person begins to scrawl in notes as well. As you continue to read “Ship of Theseus” you begin following a second story in the margins as the two readers interact with each other and try to find out more about the mysterious author and the schizophrenic translator. And throughout the book, there are things you’ll find folded up in the pages, like news articles and maps and lists that the readers have made. It’s so fascinating turning a page and having something unexpected fall out. That’s the why book comes in a box, so none of the pieces go missing before you can get to them. I really like it! So you’re really reading a book within a book. I’ve already started it and even though it looked daunting with all the different color notes along the sides, I soon picked up a knack for knowing when to pause in reading the main passage of the book and switch to reading the notes that follow along. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and I can’t even explain how I figured out when to pause. I just… did. And if you pick this up, I’m sure you’ll be able to see it too. I am SO excited to continue this book. I feel like even if I end up hating the plot, the fact that it’s just so damn fascinating and interactive will compel me to write a review for it. Though from what I’ve read so far, I feel like I’m going to love this. Political intrigue, conspiracy, I love it I love it I love it!

2. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

I’ve been reading this book since September and I still have over 150 pages to go. I don’t know what it is about this book, I just can’t read it quickly. But, honestly, I’m loving it. Right now it’s sitting at a solid 4 stars, could bounce higher if the ending is spectacular.
I think part of what is taking so long with this book is that the plot is not immediately obvious, I suppose. Going into it, I didn’t realize that. The book instead is about the city New Crobuzen, in which the story is set. China Mieville breathes life into this city to the point where I feel like I could walk down its streets, see its sights, smell its smells, interact with all the different creatures he has created. It’s so wonderful. My goal is to finish this book this month. I think that if I finish this one and no other, I’ll be satisfied (I mean, I hope that doesn’t happen, but whatevs. I’d still be happy).

As far as I know, this book is part of a three book set of companion novels, of which I also own the second one, The Scar. And if that book is anything like this one in writing style, I’m sure it’ll be just as rich and fulfilling. Looking forward to finishing this one and hopefully getting to the next very soon.

3. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is another one I’m still reading. This one’s progress is a lot slower than the others, purely for the reason that I’m reading it aloud with my SO a chapter or two at a time, and with all the holiday stuff going on recently, we haven’t touched it in a couple weeks. I’m really hoping to get back to it soon before I begin to forget everything that’s happened so far. This book actually contains five books, but I’m not counting them as five on my goodreads, just because they are all relatively short and when combined together, make a decently large sized tome. So I’m going to leave it at that.

For the few of you remaining on this planet who have not read or heard of this book, it’s about uh… well, hitchhiking, towels, aliens, poetry, robots and sarcasm. It’s so wonderful, I highly suggest it.

4. The Diviners by Libba Bray
This book is one that I picked up recently and then put down purely because I grew distracted by other books. I really am liking this book though. And lucky for me, the Reading Adventures Book Club on Goodreads has chosen this book as one of their January picks. So guess what, perfect opportunity to resume reading this and hopefully finish it. This is a chunker of a book though man, holy cow. And from what I’ve heard it’s the first of a series, not a stand alone like I thought it was when I originally purchased it. Those goofies, making me emotionally invested only to take those emotions and rip them apart in what I am sure will be a cliff hanger at the end of the book. Mark my words, there will be a cliff hanger.

This book is set around the 1920s and the main character is definitely a flapper. I really like Libba Bray’s writing in this – she writes the 20s really well – the slang used, the implied social roles and their alteration during this decade, the history, it’s all wonderful. This book, if you couldn’t tell from the title has a supernatural twist. I love it.

5. The Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon
I think this is going to be an awesome read. This is my TBR Jar Challenge book. This book I actually borrowed from a friend before winter break with a promise to get it back to her by the beginning of the spring semester, so it was perfect that I would pick ‘not a novel’ for the challenge this month. This book is written by a hypnotherapist that specializes in regression and past lives. I’m not 100% sure if I buy into this or not, but I’m keeping an open mind. Anything is possible, right?

The book I believe is about a case this woman had where she regressed a man and he slowly revealed his past lives. Now, when you hear about past lives, you think great kings, raccoons, blah blah. Earth species. But this man, as he goes farther and farther back, begins revealing past lives he’s lived as extra-terrestrials. Alien past lives. How awesome is THAT?! It will be so awesome to read about. I can’t say I’ve read anything like this before, fiction or otherwise. I can’t wait to pick this one up.

So that’s it, my January TBR. I’m hoping to finish all of these, but we’ll see what happens. My classes resume on January 20th and as soon as that happens my reading is going to take a nose dive, so I’m hoping to have the majority of these finished before then. Wish me luck, and happy reading!

TBR Jar Challenge 2015!

I’ve decided to take part in Katytastic’s TBR Jar Challenge for this coming year. I figured it would help me a lot when it came to reading books that have been on my shelf forever that I just haven’t gotten to yet. A tbr jar is typically a jar full of book titles that you still need to read. Once a month or week or whatever your reading pace is, you pull a slip from the jar and read whatever book is on it. I had never done one before because I knew that if the name on the slip was a book that I wasn’t in the mood for, I wouldn’t read it regardless.

But then this challenge was created and I liked the sound of it a lot more than the normal jar idea. I will add all of the challenges listed in the video into my jar and pull one each month. I will be changing two of the challenges however. The two that I’m altering were originally ‘listen to an audio book’ and ‘read a book you had originally given up on’.

The reason for these changes is because I don’t have access to audiobooks – too poor to buy, and I don’t really have the attention span to listen to something while doing nothing else. I know I’d have to give the audio my attention or I wouldn’t pick up on the story, and I feel like my brain won’t let me do that. I’m not trying to be whiny, but seriously, my attention span is shit. I full acknowledge that this is problem. It’s in my resolutions for this year to work on it. (y’know what, maybe an audio book would help me do that… buh. Audio book recommendations, I guess? Please? xD) And for the ‘given up on’ challenge, I’m not picking those up again. I gave up on them for a reason, and I know if I’d try a reread, it would be gross. I don’t like the books I gave up on (though I suppose if I come across a book I was supposed to read for school but didn’t, I’ll do that. But otherwise.)

So this is the list of challenges I will be doing, the bold ones are my alterations:

-Read a book with 500+ pages
-Reread a favorite book
-Read a 2015 debut novel
-Read a book that someone else picks
-Read a book that you’ve never heard of before
-Begin reading a new graphic novel/graphic novel series
-Read a new-to-you author
-Read a book that is not a novel
-Read/watch a book and its adaptation
-Read an award winning novel
-Read a classic novel
-Read a series finale

Now I just need to find a jar. Whatever slip I pull out of this jar will be included in my January TBR and my choice of book that fits that catagory. Happy reading!