A Very Small Book Haul

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I have a book buying problem and I’ve been pretty open about that, but lately I’ve been a lot better about buying books. I don’t know what happened, but recently I’ve been more drawn to my shelves than the bookstore. That’s not to say that I haven’t bought any books, because I certainly have, but I used to buy 10-15 books a month and so far I’ve only bought four books! I wanted to share those books with you guys today because I’m insanely excited for all four of them.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1. I honestly don’t know that much about this series, but I’ve heard it’s feminist af so I can’t wait to get to this.

Descender, Vol. 1. I LOVE Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth series and I’ve been wanting to read more of his comics and this one is a sci-fi series that centers around a young robot who’s trying to survive when robots and androids have been outlawed. I’M ALL IN.

American Girls. All I really knew about the book was that the main character, Anna, researches the Manson Girls which sounds so intriguing, but then I heard Monica (from shemightbemonica) talk about how emotional and real this book is and I was sold. I have a love/hate relationship with YA contemporaries and this sounds so different from a lot of books in the genre.

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I’ve had my eye on this book since I read Between the World and Me last year, but I finally picked it up because of everything that’s been going on in the US lately. I guess I wouldn’t say that I’m excited to read this, but it feels like something that I need to read.

Have you guys read any of these? If you have, let me know what you thought and if you haven’t, let me know if you’re interested in them!

Recent Reads

Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of people have started talking more about their recent reads than doing monthly wrap ups and I love the idea so much that I’m going to do it as well! Like a lot of those people have pointed out, it’s hard to remember everything you want to say about a book at the end of the month when you read the book at the beginning of the month!

25330541Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It by Grace Helbig. I was really excited for this book because I love Grace. I really liked how this book felt more personal than her first book did. She talked about her eating disorder and how it affected her relationship with clothing and how that developed into her own personal style. As for the actual style aspect of the book, I thought it was a little inconsistent. There were some parts that I really loved, but others fell flat for me (the sweatpants diaries, the advice column responses).★★½ out of five stars.

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The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I get why it’s a classic, I really do. It’s a story about loyalty, adaptation, and animal instincts, but man, I really didn’t like it. It was probably due to the fact that I really don’t handle violence towards animals very well; regardless of whether or not that violence is caused by humans or other animals. I’m going to keep this on my shelf because I have the beautiful penguin classics edition (as pictured), but I won’t pick it up again.★

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Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho. While this book is marketed as a novel, it really doesn’t read like one; it reads more like a sermon. I’m not a religious person, so there are some things in this book that don’t apply to me, but there is some incredible insight offered in this book. Coelho touches on courage, loyalty, anxiety, solitude, and loss. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I feel like I read it at the right time. ★★★

Reading Slump

I’ve been pretty absent lately and that’s because I haven’t been reading and when I don’t read, I withdraw from the bookish community. I’m going to partially blame my friend (but not really) for this…let me explain:

My friend who I recommended the Throne of Glass series to, finished Queen of Shadows before me. I preordered QoS and started it the day I got it. I made it about 20% in and gave up because I didn’t like the characterization of a certain character. At the beginning of the month, in order to motivate me, we made a deal. I agreed that if I didn’t finish QoS by the end of the month that I would buy her a pizza. Well, the end of the month is here and I read maybe 15% of the book.

I felt so obligated to read QoS, that I didn’t feel like I could read anything else until I finished QoS. Now that the month is over and I already owe a pizza, I feel much more motivated to read. I hope that I’ll pick something up soon because it’s been weird not reading. Fingers crossed.

#TBRtakedown & Bout of Books Wrap-Up

That’s it! I’m calling it quits for these readathons. I know that I still have five hours left, but I’m happy with how much I read. Plus, I don’t want to push myself into a reading slump so early in the year, so let’s talk about what I read this week. (Links lead to the Goodreads page.)

Books completed: 6
Pages read: 1,293
#TBRtakedown challenges completed: 6 (book from your most recent book haul, book on your TBR Shelf over a year, book outside your comfort zone, a sequel in a series, a FIRE color book, a non-novel item)

Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth
I was excited to read this because I really loved the first volume, but something about this volume just felt off. I can’t place my finger on what that is, but it was lacking the excitement and fun that the first one had. A little disappointing, but still worth a read. ★★★☆☆

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 4: Last Days
This is definitely my favorite ongoing comic series as of now. I love the diversity of the characters, how important family is to Kamala, and how every volume addresses issues that are relevant to today. Honestly, perfection. ★★★★★

Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 5
This volume was so much fun! The last two volumes were a little dull and rushed in my opinion, so I was pleasantly surprised with the direction that this volume went. It’s so fun to see the back in forth between the two sides and I’m excited for the concluding volume. ★★★★★

Wytches, Vol. 1
This volume was definitely out of my comfort zone, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect and I walked away feeling very meh towards it. It wasn’t bad by any means, but the story felt very disjointed to me because it moved from past to present and from person to person without any type of fluidity. I was however a big fan of the artwork, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue on with this series. ★★★☆☆

The Chosen One
This book was really interesting because it’s not a subject that I’ve ever read about and while I was sympathetic towards the characters I don’t think it had anything to do with the writing and everything to do with the subject matter. I would say it was decent, but it could have used another 30 pages to wrap things up. ★★★☆☆

Humans of New York: Stories
I don’t know what to say about HONY just that I love it so much. I’m so happy that HONY developed into a storytelling platform because it’s so incredibly inspiring and eye-opening. ★★★★★

Did you guys participate in these readathons? How’d it go??

Wrap Up: December 2015

I had a pretty good reading month in December; I read 11 books! It’s mainly because I found out that I can listen to audiobooks at work!! Amazing, I know. The best part though, I owned every one of these books except one. Anyways! Here’s what I read in the month of December (links lead to Goodreads):

My favorites of the month were definitely Harry Potter, Between the World and Me, and Not My Father’s Son. Harry Potter is a given and is no surprise, but I usually don’t love nonfiction as much as I did in December. It excites me though, because I feel like I’ll be open to reading more nonfiction in the future! It’s definitely progress since I really want to read more broadly this year.

What did you guys read in December? Did you read any of the same books? Let’s discuss!

2015 End of the Year Book Survey

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Since 2016 is almost upon us, it’s only fitting that I reflect on the books that I read this past year. I was planning on just rambling about some of my favorite books that I read this past year, but Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner does an annual end of the year book survey that I love! (She also created the lovely graphic above.) Since I didn’t have this blog last year, I left out the “blogging/bookish life” section of the survey. Let’s get to it.

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Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: YA Contemporary

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best

1. Best Book You Read In 2015?
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book is INCREDIBLE. Beautifully written, moving, and heartbreaking. A must-read, seriously.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I adore Maggie’s writing and all of the characters are so fleshed out and unique – such an atmospheric book.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Lumberjanes Volume 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen and Maarta Laiho. This volume just came off way too childish to me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Storm Front by Jim Butcher. I didn’t really have expectations going into this book, because I had heard mixed reviews, but I ended up loving it. I really enjoyed Harry’s narration and the entire tone of the book.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

 5. Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series and sequel: The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater, for reasons mentioned above.

As for best series ender, Locke and Key Volume 6 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez was phenomenal. It concluded the series so well and there were definitely tears!

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Andrew Smith! He’s a wonderful writer and his books are so quirky.

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7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming. This book is absolutely heartbreaking, yet so hopeful. I listened to the audiobook that Alan Cumming narrates and it definitely added to the reading experience.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. This isn’t the type of book that I typically read, but a good friend of mine recommended it to me. After I started, I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this book.

 9. Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay. Jim Kay’s illustrations are such a beautiful addition to an already beautiful story. I’ll probably reread it before the illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets comes out!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?

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All of the covers from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Stunning.

11. Most memorable character of 2015?
A.J. Fikry from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. There’s just something about this book that moved me and I still think about A.J. Fikry from time to time.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. It’s unfortunate that we won’t see more writing from Marina Keegan, because she really had a way with words.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. GO READ IT.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
Definitely The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I really loved the Wolves of Mercy Falls series when I read it, so I have no excuse for not reading it sooner.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2015?
“We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on”
― Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?

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 17. Book That Shocked You The Most
The Wicked + The Divine Vol 2. by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles. THAT ENDING THOUGH.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Emily and Frank from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. All of their interactions are just so cute!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Ryan Dean West and the rugby team from Winger by Andrew Smith. There were so many ups and downs amongst the team, but I was so invested.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
This is getting a little repetitive, but The Raven Cycle.


21. Best Book You Read In 2015 that You Read Based SOLELY On 25821581A Recommendation From
Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. So I wasn’t personally recommended this book, but multiple authors recommended it at NerdCon and they’re the reason I picked it up.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Richard Campbell Gansey III from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. NO SHAME.

23. Best 2015 debut you read?
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This book had so much hype in 2015 and it deserves every bit of it.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
George R.R. Martin establishes an incredible and vivid world in A Game of Thrones.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli was so much FUN. The voice was on point.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
Locke and Key Volume 6 and Winger.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I usually don’t reach for books like this, but I’m so glad that I did. The prose is beautiful and her experiences are vivid.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
I’m looking at you Alan Cumming. STILL NOT OVER IT.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
The Locke and Key series as a whole is so unique. There are so many twists and intricate details, UGH. This whole series is just so well thought out.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Soundless by Richelle Mead. I really don’t like this book and a lot of the writing comes off as lazy and cliché. What’s probably the most upsetting is that I didn’t really want to read it in the first place, but I got it in my Owlcrate.

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looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?
I’m ashamed to say it, but I didn’t read Queen of Shadows this year even though I preordered it and everything. Actually, I got about 20% of the way through it and put it down because of the way a character drastically changed.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?
Morgan Matson’s new book! I don’t think there’s a title yet…

3. 2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
I have no idea! I usually don’t hear that much about books so far in advance, but I’m always open to recommendations.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m going to be emotionally traumatized. I can feel it.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?
I want to read more broadly. I got better at this towards the end of the year, but I know I can do much better.

6. A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:
I don’t think I’ve read any 2016 releases yet! Oops.

 

A New Beginning

Hello fellow book lovers!

We’re entering the new year (in my time zone) in five hours and one of the things that I really want to do in 2016 is blog. I do currently blog on tumblr, but on tumblr it’s so easy to fall into the habit of just reblogging things instead of creating or posting original content. There is nothing wrong with that, and I’ll still remain active on tumblr, but in the book community, it’s hard to feel included without voicing your opinion on what you’re reading.

This blog is going to be an experiment of sorts. I really, really, really want this to work out and to become a thing that I love to do, but if I don’t feel more involved in the book community because of it, then it’s moot. That’s not to say that I need to have a lot of followers or comments or whatever, but I want to make connections. I want to have actual discussions about what I’m reading, what I’m excited about reading, etc.

That being said, I’m really excited to give this a try and I’m looking forward to a fun, happy, book-filled 2016.