February Reading Wrap Up

February Reading Wrap Up

Another month has ended and so here we have another monthly reading wrap up and reading challenge progress report.

I’m not gonna lie, January had me feeling like, “Am I actually a person who loves reading?” because my total number of books I actually finished was quite low. In February it seemed like I could not stop reading, as I’d finish one and immediately start the next. Not necessarily something I would recommend in some cases, but I couldn’t stop myself.

The Books I Finished (and my thoughts on them):

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for years and only just now got around to reading it. That’s how you know you have way too many books. This book was pretty good. I ended up reading it in about 2 days and I definitely enjoyed it. I enjoyed the characters quite a bit, some were a little two dimensional but a few were really captivating. Like Meredith. Early on in the story the narrator is telling little stories about each character to try to explain the essence of his perception of each of them, when he talks about Meredith I thought, “I want to be her,” and that feeling stayed with me throughout the entire story. I really love her character. There’s just something about her.

The experience the characters are thrust into was really interesting and I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. But I will say some of it is a bit…convenient, at times. Not enough to make the story any less enjoyable though, just a little bit of that “Oh of course that would happen,” type of thing.

I really loved the way the story was written though, it had a really cool style.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Fun thing about this book: Margaret Atwood starting writing it the year I was born.

And that’s the only thing that’s fun about it because this book is so…uncomfortable? Creepy? Haunting? Don’t get me wrong, this is a great book. It’s such an interesting world she’s built and the way she tells the story is so captivating, but it’s so hard to read because of how it makes you feel. I had a near constant sense of discomfort while reading it, but honestly I feel like that’s how it’s supposed to make you feel. She captures the sense of monotony and nothingness that fills the handmaid’s day so well, that in turn, I actually had the sensation that the story might never end and would just stretch out forever. I can’t quite explain it any better than that but it was extremely unsettling.

Oh, also, mild spoiler alert but there is a baby born in the book and it’s given the same name as me. So that was also creepy to me for some reason.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

It’s not that I don’t have words for this book, it’s more like I have too many words and I can’t figure out where to start. This book almost completely threw me off track because I struggled with the idea that if I finished it, it would be over. I had multiple moments where I had to just put the book down and absorb what I had just read. I wrote more about that problem on a previous blog post and I’ll probably at some point write even more about this book but for now just know that I loved it. A lot. And ever since I finished it, I miss it so much.

Evernearth by Brodie Ashton

Any book I read immediately after The Starless Sea was doomed to suffer for that fact, if only because nothing could compare to that story. It would essentially be somewhat of a palate cleanser, reading wise, as I worked to extract my mind from the world I had just been happily living in so I could move on to the next. So, for that purpose, this book was great. It was a quick easy read and the basics of the story are entertaining enough. The execution of said story however failed to impress me. I just didn’t really enjoy it. I felt like there was no consistency to the story, it’s not very descriptive and it just honestly didn’t really steal my heart. It basically felt like it was the outline of a potential story, which could have turned out great if it had been fleshed out a bit more and if the author had been a bit more descriptive. For example there’s a boy (this isn’t a spoiler, there’s always a boy) who is a prominent part of the story and we don’t learn until halfway through the book that he wears glasses, it just never gets mentioned in any of the earlier parts of the story that briefly mention his looks. At another point in the story 2 characters leave school to head to a coffee shop and pick up a 3rd character on the way, then the original 2 leave the coffee shop and head back to school and there is absolutely no explanation about what happened to the 3rd person. Did they leave him there? Drop him off at home on the way back? Forget he exists entirely? I have no idea.

Just not my favourite book.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This was one of those books where I feel like I had it recommended to me so many times and I heard so many good things, but I just  had never actually picked it up and tried to read it. I finally got around to it this month and I gotta say I understand the hype. For the most part I really enjoyed this book and I definitely can’t wait to pick up the other books in this series.

There were minor things that I had some issues with. There were a few things that were hinted at that didn’t seem to go anywhere yet…that might change in the other books though so I’m not counting it against this one at all at the moment. There was also a few times where I couldn’t really be sure what to think of the situation happening on the page because Feyre’s internal thoughts were saying one thing but how she was responding was completely different. And it didn’t seem to be a strategic thing on her part, it just…didn’t match. It kind of made me pause and go “Huh?” once in awhile. But overall, this was a great story and I really enjoyed it a lot.

Oh, and also, I love that they included a pronunciation guide for the names but I don’t understand why they put it at the BACK of the book after the story was already over. That would have been very useful information in the beginning.

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I thought I was going to have another book to add this list, as I started another really short book I assumed I’d finish in just about a day but that was about a week ago and I’m only about halfway through. Other hobbies just took more of my attention I guess.

Wrap Up

Total Books Read This Month: 5

Total Books Read Overall: 7

Total Height Read This Month: 6.5 inches

FebHeight

Total Height Read So Far: 9.5 inches

Total ytd Height Feb

So this is definitely an improvement over last month. I do feel like at this rate I can probably reach my goal.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve read so far this year, and if you’ve read any of these books.

I’m Struggling to Finish a Book That I Love

I’m usually a pretty fast reader. If I start reading a book and it captures my attention I will typically finish it within a day or 2, depending on the length of the book.

I know a lot of people out there read even faster than this, and that’s awesome! That means they can read even more books, lucky them! And I know plenty of other people read at a much slower pace and might only finish a book every month or so, which is great too, it’s not a race and you’re already winning anyways as long as you try to make time to read. But this is roughly the pace at which I read.

Sometimes however, I will start to read a book and despite my best efforts to sink into the story I just can’t get lost in it and I find myself making excuses to put it down and do something else. I’ll read half a page then get distracted by something I find more interesting and put the book aside, though I’m not quite willing to fully give up and move on to another book yet. This was a problem I had in January, where I started to read a book I expected to love and it took me weeks to get even halfway through because I just wasn’t enjoying it as much as I hoped.

Right now I’m having a similar problem, except for a completely different reason.

I’m struggling to get through The Starless Sea because I love it too much.

Please tell me I’m not alone here, maybe not with this particular book, but with any book. Have you ever struggled to finish a book because you loved it too much?

I’m worried that if I read it too fast it will end too soon.

I find certain parts so beautiful, that I need to put the book down and absorb what I’ve just read before I can continue. There have been multiple times where I

I’m so inspired by this book that it makes me want to write stories of my own and I have to keep taking breaks from reading to go write out all my own thoughts that won’t stop filling my head.

This is a terrible problem to have when you’re trying to work on a reading challenge, but a wonderful thing to experience as a book lover.

I have been reading The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (author of the Night Circus, which is one of my favourite books, Ever) for about 5 days now and I’m just creeping up on the halfway mark. I don’t know what’s going to come next. I hope I will love it as much as I have loved the first half, I have a feeling that I will.

But I am opting to not commit to an opinion until the end of the book.

January 2020 Reading Wrap Up

January Reading Wrap Up Head Image

Now that January has come to a close, it’s time to talk about the books I read this month.

I started reading more books than I ended up finishing, due to getting stuck on a book I didn’t really enjoy. I still haven’t finished that book, because I was just really struggling to connect with the story so I eventually had to put it aside and move on to something else but by then it was already about 2/3 through the month. I ended up finishing 2 books this month, which is a pretty bad start if I’m being honest but it is what it is.

The Books I Finished (and my thoughts on them):

The Queen’s Resistance by Rebecca Ross

I really enjoyed this book – and the one that came before it, which I read last year: The Queen’s Rising – but I will admit I spent a bit of it getting kind of confused. Slight spoiler warning, there are some characters who go by different names for various reasons. So one person may refer to them by one name while another refers to them by another name, and it does at times get a bit confusing especially because there are so many of them. It would be one thing if it was one or two characters, but it felt like half the characters had multiple aliases. things like characters names were a little hard to follow sometimes and it unfortunately did pull me out of the story sometimes and make it kind of hard to really get into it. As a result, this took me a lot longer to read that a book of this size normally would, and I had to fight myself to not put it aside and start something new. That said though, it is a great story and I did really enjoy it once I was able to get into it and by the end I found myself really disappointed that it didn’t appear it was going to be part of a trilogy like I had initially assumed. Definitely left me wanting more.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

I was so excited for this book.

The first book in this series, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, was one of my absolute favourite books that I read last year and I was really looking forward to finding out what came next in the story. I’m happy to say I was not at all disappointed. I loved almost everything about this book, especially the characters, even ones I didn’t really expect to like. There were a few things that I found a little bit predictable, but it wasn’t too bad. See, I play a game with myself when I read, where I keep an ongoing list of predictions about things that I think will happen in the story. Sometimes I get a lot of it right and it can actually be a little frustrating.  I don’t actually think there is anything wrong with a story being a bit predictable, depending on how it’s done. Some books for example are extremely predictable but try to reveal their twists in a way where you can tell they think they’re shocking you, even though it was extremely obvious the entire time. Other books dump twists on you that feel like they came out of nowhere and make no sense for the story. But I feel like A Heart So Fierce and Broken does it really well because it lays the groundwork first so instead of feeling predictable it feels more like being led to a natural conclusion. It feels satisfying when it actually comes true. I hope that makes sense a little bit.

Oh, another really cool thing about this book (for me at least) was that a couple months ago I had a random idea of a specific scene that I thought would be cool in a story, and in this book almost that EXACT scenario happens. And I love that. So maybe the actual reason I found some stuff predictable is because me and the author have some kind of mental link.

I’m just saying it’s possible.

 

Total Height Read So Far: 3 inches

January Reading Wrap Up Measurement

 So like I said, I’m not off to a great start. If I spent the rest of the year only reading at this rate, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t meet my goal. Luckily, I have a lot of books I’m really excited to read so as long as I remind myself that I can put a book aside if I’m not enjoying it and move on to something else, I should be fine. Also we’re just 3 days into February and I’m almost done my second book so, I should definitely be able to do better than January.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you’ve read so far this year, and what you’ve loved.

2020 Reading Challenge

Oh look, it’s a blog post.

I am very bad at updating this blog. Like, embarrassingly bad. But it’s a new year, and that means a new reading challenge.

For 2020 I’ve decided to try a different challenge than one I’ve tried before. It’s a somewhat ambiguous challenge at the moment because I’m not really sure what the total number of books I should aim to read will end up being. But I have a…kind of specific non-specific goal.

Let me back up here.

In the past I’ve issued reading challenges for myself. Some I crushed. Others I failed horribly at. But I like to try to give myself goal for reading, to see if I can push myself.

This year my goal is to read my height.

Which is where the whole unknown component comes into play. Because exactly how many books tall am I?

I could make an educated guess. I could measure a few books on my shelf and figure out an estimate for how thick the average book might be (or cheat and just look it up online) and do the math to figure out how many books I may have to stack to equal my height. Or – and this is the option I’m leaning towards – I can go into it blindly and just see how tall the pile gets as the year goes on, and how close it comes to my actual height at the end.

For the record, I am 5’8”, if anyone feels like making a guess as to how many books that may be.

Wish me luck, I hope I do better at reading than I do at updating this blog.

2014 Birthday Book Haul

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Just going to dive right on in and pretend it hasn’t been since December that I last posted.

My birthday happened again in March, as it tends to do. 😉 And once again, like last year, I received gift cards to a book story. So I’m sure you can guess what comes next, if the title didn’t entirely give it away…

Birthday book haul time!

This time I was, I think, pretty smart about the whole thing and I mainly bought books that were on sale for about $4-$6 with a few random full priced ones tossed in simply because I “had to” have them. I’ve finished reading one already and started reading probably about 4 or 5 of them. I have no idea why I keep doing that and it’s a habit I desperately need to break because it’s really annoying.

In total there are 15 books in my birthday book haul and they are:

When We Wake by Karen Healey

Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan (Book 2 in the Sky Chasers series)

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan

Outpost by Ann Aguirre (Book 2 in the Razorland trilogy)

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Book 1 in the Razorland trilogy)

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Dance Of The Red Death by Bethany Griffin (Book 2 in the Masque Of The Red Death series)

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (Book 1 in the Mystic City trilogy)

I mentioned the ones that are part of a series or trilogy that I’m aware of, but more may be as well. I’m just not really sure at this point and haven’t really looked into it further.

Anyone else read any of these books? If you did, what did you think and can you give me some more recommendations of what to read? (Although I think I’m going to be busy reading for awhile now…)

Book Blog – FAIL!

Heyyy…so, yeah this didn’t work out so well.

For the most part my lack of blogging is because I rarely spend time on my computer anymore. Most of my internet time is done on my iPhone, and typing on that tiny annoying screen is just not happening so forget blogging by iPhone. No thank you. But to be honest, and here’s the embarrassing part, I didn’t really read much this year. Which is a shame, because I feel better when I read. I feel smarter, and just better. But this past year, for several reasons, has just been a really unmotivated year overall. I did read, but nowhere near as much as I planned to. And yeah I’m pretty ashamed about it.

So I failed at my challenge. And at this blog. But like the stubborn person I am, I’m trying again. I’m probably going to re-challenge myself to read a book a month in 2014 or something simple like. Maybe aim really low and plan to read a book every 3 months, that way if I do better I’ll feel really good about myself. 😉

I could use a little encouragement, inspiration, and maybe some book recommendations.

2013 Reading Challenge Progress – March

March2013Books

March was a pretty okay reading month. I knew I had to kind of step it up a bit since I completely failed at February and I feel like the number of books I did read kind of put me back on track towards meeting my goal. I still need to step it up even more considering at this point I can’t afford to have another “slack” month but if I continue on at this rate I should be able to meet my goal.

In the month of March I read:

  1. Sever by Lauren DeStefano
  2. There’s Cake In My Future by Kim Gruenenfelder
  3. Requiem by Lauren Oliver

All 3 books I got in my recent Birthday Book Haul. Sever and Requiem are both actually the 3rd books of two different trilogies (The Chemical Garden Trilogy and the Delirium Trilogy) that I had been counting down the days until their release(s) and I absolutely loved them both. There’s Cake In My Future was pretty decent. I didn’t love it but it was entertaining.

2013ReadingProgressOverall-AsofMarch

So far overall in 2013 I’ve read:

January

  1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner (paperback, 374 pages)
  2. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (paperback, 360 pages)
  3. The Death Cure by James Dashner (hardcover, 324 pages)

February

Didn’t finish any books.

March

  1. Sever by Lauren DeStefano (hardcover, 371 pages)
  2. There’s Cake In My Future by Kim Gruenenfelder (paperback, 358 pages)
  3. Requiem by Lauren Oliver (hardcover, 391 pages)

For a total of 6 books read so far, and 2, 178 pages.

Have you read any of the books that I’ve read in 2013? What have you read this year? Comment and let me know