Underwhelming reading in 2022

I was absent on making posts in 2022. for most of the year. My reading was down and without it there was no inspiration for posting at all. There was this heavy cloud of guilt weighing over my had all the time and constantly coming up with same excuses just seemed wrong. I actually know people who always explain their lack of reading this way for years now. And it used to annoy me but now it only makes me sad. For clarification, I’m talking about people who buy more books than can fit into their living spaces, go to book clubs and do bookish events and like to talk about books – BUT when it comes to actually reading books, there is always the same excuse.

I did not want to be like that so I just stopped my posting until I could get my stuff together, manage my schedule and plan my time better to read and enjoy my bookish hobby properly. I’m not saying I have it all figured out now. It is a work in progress and I am glad to report on the progress. Like that saying goes – life is what happens while you are busy making plans…

Enough with the sus intro, here is what I actually read last year:

January

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay ★★★★

Vampire Stories by Richard Dalby ★★★

February

Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #1) by K.F. Breene ★★★★

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

March

Neustrašive: žene koje žive po svom by Pénélope Bagieu ★★★★★

Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar ★★★★★

Dragi autore ili kako odbiti remek-djelo by Riccardo Bozzi ★★★★★

Take It As A Compliment by Maria Stoian ★★★★

April

Wild Sign (Alpha & Omega, #6) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin ★★★

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick ★

May

The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries, #1)  by Maryrose Wood ★★★

June

The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith DNF

Ima jedna priča… (2nd ed) by Mauro Lacovich ★★★★

Doručak by Dinko Mihovilović ★★

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain ★★

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi ★★★

July

Book of Night (Book of Night, #1) by Holly Black ★★★★★

The October Country by Ray Bradbury ★★★★

The Martian by Andy Weir ★★★★

Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove #3) by Shelby Mahurin ★★★

August

The Pool Boy (Nashville Neighborhood, #2) by Nikki Sloane ★★★★

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe  DNF

Book Love by Debbie Tung ★★★★

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ★★★★

Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #7) by Kevin Hearne ★★★★

Mythos: mitovi (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology, #1) by Stephen Fry ★★★

September

The Diary of a Bookseller (The Diary of a Bookseller, #1) by Shaun Bythell ★★★

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black ★★★★

October

Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond (The Hollows, #10.1) by Kim Harrison ★★★

Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3) by Lisa Kleypas ★★★★★

November

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl ★★★

Kraljica crne obale: i druge priče o legendarnom barbaru by Robert E. Howard ★★★

December

Donjodravska obala by Drago Hedl ★★★

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo ★★★★

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood ★★★★★

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.7) by Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★★

House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★

Shift (Shifters, #5) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★

My reading 2022. was slouchy at best. As expected, my most active months were August and December which corresponds to work breaks over the year and other life things I was not prepared to confront in 2022. I did some reading challeges and managed to make baby steps toward some personal reading goals. I have cut down on the number of books I read in any given moments and have only one book I am hauling over while I’m trying to finish it – it is none other than my nemesis

The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas

I am happy to report that in the first half of January I have made some progress on The Count! That is how I am going to refer to this book until I finish reading it! Instead of referring to some sexy vampire I have a 1000+ pages poop colored book to haunt me this way.

As for some numbers here is how GR summed it up for me in 2022: I read 42 books total (2 of those are DNF) and a total of 13 631pages (approximately depending on the editions). Biggest book I read was Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove #3) by Shelby Mahurin with 612 pages. Average page count on the books I’ve read in 202 was just over 300 (324) pages. This makes me wonder about all those big books I have on my shelf and how to plan for them better. I have some books I have been looking forward to that are well over 500 pages long and I don’t want them to end up like The Count.

Most popular book I’ve read in 2022 according to GR is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I still have some reservations about jumping in on the most popular and hyped books but I am slowly considering to read some hits that have been everyone’s favorites for the last few years now – I’m talking about hopping on the late hype train for Sarah J. Mass book series and I know once I start I am probably gonna end up treating them like Pokemon and collect them all!

While the total number of books I have read in 2022 is barely the half of what I hoped to read, the average rating for the books I did read is a good 3,7 out of 5 stars rating. I’m going to think on it as a positive sign for my reading and the books I ended up reading.

Out of the 42 books read 27 were from my own collection which is a pretty good number. I am especially intrigued with the number of books from the library. It just shows that, unlike some years before, I am using the library for more than just few times a year and because of my book club books.

As life goes on, the reading follows and 2023. is already looking better.

Many great reading moments to any who read these random posts of mine and all the best in 2023!

Project Buddy Readathon 2022-2023

We are entering into a third year of our Buddy reading challenge my friend Vivone and I started at the beginning of 2021. We started by choosing 10 books we would both read trough the year. You can check out my initial post on it and the 2021-2022 overview HERE.

We started with ten books and since some of them were part of the series we liked, we decided to keep some extra. And in the second year our reading challenge grew to thirteen books – 10 new chosen titles and 3 books we decided to continue reading in series!

Here are the 2022 books we have chosen and my rating for them:

Buddy Reading list 2022

Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar ★★★★★

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo ★★★★

The October Country by Ray Bradbury ★★★

Kraljica crne obale: i druge priče o legendarnom barbaru by Robert E. Howard ★★★★

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ★★★★

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick ★

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl ★★★

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain ★★

Ima jedna priča… (2nd ed) by Mauro Lacovich ★★★★

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay ★★★★

Sequels from 2021. list:

House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle #3) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin ★★★

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher #0.7) by Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★★

I managed to read all the books we chosen even though my 2022. reading kinda sucked and I squeezed three last books in December. I was surprised at some of the books in a good way and some were not so great. My worst read book out of all of them was definitely Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick. and the best one for me was Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar. I am glad we finished both Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy and Serpent & Dove trilogy. I actually pushed myself to finish the Serpent & Dove trilogy and the third book of it on my one in order to get them out of my collection since I did not enjoyed them as much as I had hoped I would. We are still going with The Witcher series as you will see in the list for 2023.

The total of the pages we read was around 4192 depending on the editions we had at hand. Genres varied and this time we even had some horror which neither of us is a fan of. As opposed to the last time we had much more contemporary themed books and just like last time our love of fantastic literature can be seen in our choices. I had to point out that we went down with science fiction having only Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick to represent the genre and we both agreed we were not too thrilled with it. In 2022 our reading did not diversify much if we looked at the author origins and most of our chosen books were from English speaking authors with notable exemptions of one Croatian author and the Witcher series which is originally published in Polish but we read it in English anyway…

For our 2023 picks we did broaden our language of origin scope by adding some Japanese authors to the mix of still mostly English original works. Again most of the copies we tend to read are in English anyway with some books that have Croatian translation mixed in.

Here are our 2023 picks:

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Gallant by V. E. Schwab

The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin

Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #1) by Chris Wooding

The City & the City by China Miéville

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

The Cat who saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa

Series that we decided to continue

Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6) by Martha Wells

A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2) by Becky Chambers

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Hours Of The Dragon (The Weird Works Of Robert E. Howard, #8) by Robert E. Howard

Since we ended one books series with Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy there were two book series we decided to continue: The Witcher and Conan’s Adventures in the works of Robert E. Howard. Murderbot Diaries got thrown into the mix because we both read the series before and wanted to catch up on the series together.

Our expectations on the list for 2023. are different for each. By Vivone’s choice we have decided to go low with books that are part of a possible new series and that is the reason most of the books we have are standalone books. From all the standalone books almost all the authors are new and first time reading for both of us. The only two exceptions are Ursula K. Le Guin for Vivone since she read some other books by that author and Philip K. Dick which is in hindsight a strange choice for both of us since the least liked book from 2022. was his Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick.

The only book on the list I was very happy to read and will be my first book of the reading challenge to get my hands on is Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6) by Martha Wells. The rest of them I don’t have very high expectations. I hope I get trough the books we picked earlier in the year and not leave as many as three for the last month of the year like I did in 2022!

Reindeer Readathon 2022

This was my third year participating in the Reindeer Readathon. I like how it’s organized and and while I don’t keep up with all activities – reading sprints, giveaways and events by the team leaders I still try my best to do my part. For those who are not familiar with this readathon HERE is a link for my original post explaining how everything works. Not much has changed in that regard, Readathon still lasts trough the whole month of December and there are four teams for people to be a part of. Readers are all put into teams randomly so that each team has a nice spread of all types of readers and participants. Team laeders or hosts are different each year.

This year I was put into Team Stocking and my team host was Kristin from Kristin Kraves Books and you can check out her YouTube videos HERE to find some interesting bookish content and show her some appreciation.

Each year there are some great prompts and some extra ways to get your team more points trough reading. Here are the prompts this time.

Since my reading this past year has been sporadic at best I got all my choices but did not try to get the extras at all. All nine books I’ve chosen were from my own bookshelf and I had fun trying to fit them into the prompts. I did not manage to read trough all nine books for the challenge but did in the end read six books and finished the seventh one just past the deadline on January the first. In order to be fair towards the other teams I did not submit my score for that one.

Here are the possible bonuses

And here are the books I fitted to the prompts:

Dasher – 15 Pts

Finish A Series Or Pick Up A Book That You Started And Put Down. If Neither Of These Are Options, A Short Story/Novella.

Finish A Series: House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★

Dancer – 10 Pts

A Book With A Cursive/Flowy/Elegant Font On The Cover.

Cursive On The Cover: Holidays Are Hell By Kim Harrison Et. All. – DID NOT READ

Prancer – 20 Pts

A Book With Your Favorite Season On The Cover Or The Book Cover Has Colors From Your Favorite Season On It.

Cover Has Colors Of Favorite Season: Daughter Of The Deep By Rick Riordan ★★★★

Vixen 15 Pts

A Book You Want To Read But Think It Might Be Overhyped.

Might Be Overhyped: The Love Hypothesis By Ali Hazelwood ★★★★★

Comet – 25pts

A Book With An Astronomical Word In The Title (Sun, Moon, Star, Sky Etc.)

Astronomical Word In The Title: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) By Amie Kaufman And Jay Kristoff ★★★★

Cupid – 15 Pts

A Book With A Favorite Trope In It.

Favorite Trope: Shift (Shifters #5) By Rachel Vincent ★★★★ – FINISHED A DAY LATE

Donner – 20 Pts

A Book That You Want To Read But Are Not A Fan Of The Cover.

Not A Fan Of The Cover: Sword Of Destiny (The Witcher #0.7) By Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★★

Blitzen – 20 Pts

Use A Random Number Generator To Find A Number Between 0 And 9 And Find A Book That Ends In That Page Number.

Random Number Generator – 0: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) By Amie Kaufman And Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

Rudolph – 15 Pts

Start A New Series.

New Series: Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) By Katee Robert DID NOT READ

Thoughts on the reading challenge

I liked participating in Reindeer Readathon. It helped me get back on my feet in reading more and assisted in ending the year on a high note. Thank you Erik from Breakeven Books!

You can show support for his content HERE

I did not read all I wanted and planned but I don’t see it as complete fail. If I want to read more I will need to take care of myself better and concentrate on the positive things in life. This type of attitude will help me to create more bookish content and plan better for the future challenges.

Challenge yourself but give yourself the love and support you deserve 🙂

So many books – December 2022

Books I’ve read in December 2022

Donjodravska obala by Drago Hedl ★★★

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo ★★★★

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood ★★★★★

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher #0.7) by Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★★

House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★

Shift (Shifters, #5) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

2022 in general has been a rough year for me. I have been reading sporadically at best and the December was the month with most books read for me – a total of 9 books. I am happy with the amount but did not really reach my goal for December (more on that at the question number 4)

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in December? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

There were two books that helped keep my spirits up and get my reading modjo back. First was The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood. While there were often some cringey moments while I was reading the comic situations did help with my mood and I have enjoyed reading it quite a bit too. Second five star book for me in December was Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I got the first two books totally unplanned on a book fair Interliber in Zagreb in October 2022. I was a bit worried about the space theme and it was actually a test to see if I would like Jay Kristoff’s writing style. It turns out as just what I needed: variety of lovable characters, enough drama between them to launch into space and enough action to keep me reading the second book right after it!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The two books I enjoyed reading the least in December were (AGAIN) my book club pick for December – Donjodravska obala by Drago Hedl and House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones. The first one was a bit of a downer with a historical theme and more than one character that were victims to a time and politics of the world they lived in. The hardest part about reading it was the setting of the story is just a few houses down from the place I live in now and the book had some historically accurate portrayals that hit too close to home for me. Not a bad book or story just not something I would read for pleasure. The second book should have been a total opposite of that since its is a teen book with magical setting and the last book in the Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy. For some reason the main character was not really endearing to me and not even Howl and Sophie could not help with my impression of the book. It just felt too childish at times while some parts of the book seemed culturaly foreign to me – like if I grew up in Great Britain I would have a better understanding of the motivation of the characters and some parts of the book. I just could not bridge that gap…

Again, three star does not make these bad books at all just the ones I liked reading the least in December!

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I challenged myself for a total of 9 books for the Reindeer Readathon in December and since 2 of the books I’ve read were actually not part of the Reindeer Readathon Challenge 2022. I did not read all the books I’ve wanted to read in December. 2 have been totally left out and the third one was only finished on the first day of January – but I’m still counting it here for a more positive outcome on my reading experience.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

There were quite a bit updates on the books series for me in December! Starting a new book series and reading trough two thirds of it right away with The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I even ordered the third book right after I finished reading the second one. Shifters #5 by Rachel Vincent has come down to only one book in the series left to finish the whole series which is a bittersweet experience. The book reminded me how much I enjoy my urban fantasy book series with lots of action and good female protagonist! I have finished the Howl’s Moving Castle trilogy by Diana Wynne Jones and while it was not a bad book series I will hold off on acquiring new books by the same author since I could not get into the setting anymore. And the last book series update was for The Witcher #0.7 by Andrzej Sapkowski. This book series I am progressing on a one book a year slow pace since it is a part of a Buddy readathon with a friend – more on that in the next update post (there will be several to note on the books I’ve read in 2022 and the reading challenges in general because while I have not been making posts for a whole year I have been reading and participating in creative bookish things through the year)

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

My two five star reads in December I have been very skeptical about before starting to read them. The Aurora Cycle by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I started on as a part of getting the feel to read The Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff which is a really big book I got a while ago and I really wanted to like it. I am much more confident about liking it and hope to get into it this year!

In that regard my recommendation is to give an author a try by learning more about the writing style and more than one book they have out there, if unsure, explore further.

Second read was a book I actually thought I would not like since it had a printed on sticker to label it as The TikTok Sensation. That kind of promo did not really sit well with me but I liked the them and I was in need of a feel good book with a nice ending. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood gave me more than I expected in that. So again my recommendation is that you sometimes need to give authors and stories a chance in spite the marketing that is attached to them.

Final thoughts on December 2022 reading

My reading December 2022 has helped me end the year on a high note and while I still have some regrets and some books I would have loved to squeeze in, I think I did well. Most of the books I read in December 2022 I rated very high and enjoyed reading more than I expected it to. As a whole this month gave me the push I needed to continue with posting about books and bookish things, my reading experiences and sharing the things I enjoy trough this platform.

I am making plans for more updates and sharing of books I’ve read in 2022 and I feel good about reading again which makes December 2022 a good month!

Project Buddy Readathon 2021-2022

For the year 2021. I decided to do a Buddy readathon for the first time. My reading buddy Vivone was a friend from book club and we wanted to challenge each other to experience and see how we liked some books we would not be able to read for the book club. We decided to make a list of 10 books to read during the course of the year and we both agreed to present our suggestions for the list. From our suggestions we picked five from each list and ended up with the final list below!

Buddy Read list 2021.

Alien ( Alien Movie Novelizations #1 ) by Alan Dean Foster ★★★

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor ★★★★

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny ★★★

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein ★★★

The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski ★★★★

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells ★★★★

Proklete Hrvatice : (1&2) : Dvadeset životopisa by Milana Vuković Runjić ★★★

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin ★★★★

Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle #2) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★★

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers ★★★★

I will take few moments to reflect on the statistics of the books we chose. Out of 10 books we picked there was one genre that dominated with five books and that was science fiction. Four books were fantasy and one book was nonfiction.

Out of all those books, six were part of a series. Only one book was written by a Croatian author and all the rest of the books were translations. From nine translations only one was from a Polish author while all the rest were English native speaking authors. For me the number of books from this list that I have read in Croatian translation is much higher than usual.

Total number of pages for the ten books we read was 3188!

We each had a different book from the list as a favorite. Vivone’s favorite was Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor and my favorite was All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells.

We both agreed on the book that was our least favorite book to read – Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. We were not sorry for reading it but the experience was very different than we expected and that is the reason for it being dubbed the least favorite.

Our most memorable books were Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny and Proklete Hrvatice : (1&2) : Dvadeset životopisa by Milana Vuković Runjić. And our average rating for the books differs a bit: Vivone’s average score for the books was 4 and mine 3,6. We are happy with the books we read in general and are looking forward to the books we picked for 2022.

We have decided to make some changes for the 2022. list. We decided to expand the ten books approach by each adding five books and keeping on three more sequels from the 2021. list. This gives us more pages in total since the number of books for Buddy reading challenge is now thirteen. The total number of pages we will read is 2867 for the ten books and another 1324 pages for the added three sequels. We have decided to take down the number of new book series on the list which gives us more standalone books and those have a bit less pages a piece. We have two new book series on the list and if we count the added three sequels we still have less book series than we had on 2021 list.

Again we have one dominating genre only this time it is general fantasy with five books. Other genres we have are two nonfiction only one science fiction and two contemporary genre books. All three added sequels are fantasy as well. We did not account for more diversity on the authors front. Again we have one Croatian author and nine translated titles with all those authors being from English speaking territories. We both plan to diversify with our personal plans since our tastes with those tend to go in totally different direction because Vivone really enjoys middle eastern authors and even has a growing collection of translated editions in Croatian and my tastes are more far eastern with contemporary Japanese authors and I plan to try adding Indigenous authors.

Buddy Reading list 2022

Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

The October Country by Ray Bradbury

Kraljica crne obale: i druge priče o legendarnom barbaru by Robert E. Howard

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Ima jedna priča… (2nd ed) by Mauro Lacovich

This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

Sequels from 2021. list:

House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle #3) by Diana Wynne Jones

Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin

Sword of Destiny (The Witcher #0.7) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Our expectations on the 2022. list

We have both agreed that the list could have been better and we both compromised on our suggestions. Vivone is most excited for Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain and Kraljica crne obale: i druge priče o legendarnom barbaru by Robert E. Howard, which is a first Croatian collection of stories on Conan the Barabarian. I’m most excited for Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin because I plan to finish up the whole trilogy and have found it difficult to restrain myself and not pick it up sooner.

The books we are most apprehensive about differ. Vivone is very unsure how Holes (Holes #1) by Louis Sachar is going to go for her and I am having mixed feelings on The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl. While she is happy with the amount of new book series on the list I think we could have gone with a bit more of those and I actually had problems with finding some suggestions that were not part of a book series for the 2022. list. Because of this I was very straight forward with deciding to continue reading the sequels on some of the books that are part of a book series while Vivone was much more reserved and will have to see how the continuation will reflect on her reading plans trough the year.

December Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – December 2021

This December I have read:

Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★★

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi ★★★

Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački ★★

Čitam da se pročitam by Miha Kovač ★★★★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

I have been totally beaten down by work and a whole week being sick that I managed to read only 4 books for the whole December. At this time I am not happy with how many books I have read and in life in general.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in December? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I read less books in December but strangely enough there were some memorable parts in all of them. I liked the character dynamic from The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi even though the setting was not something I could get into no matter how hard I tried. Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački gave me Wayward Pines vibes all the way and this kind of futuristic view of the future is very intriguing to me in an evolutionary sense. Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones proved to be better than expected and I loved how the character from the first book were incorporated in this one. The dialogue was particularly entertaining. Čitam da se pročitam by Miha Kovač is a book about love of reading and those always warm my heart! This last one was also my best book for December.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The reasons I gave 2 stars to Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački was because the book was so very short that the lack of depth for characters and world building was acutely apparent. The characters were the least impressive and I could not find a single one that felt interesting enough to keep my attention.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

All the books I have read this December were part of my Reindeer Readathon 2021. I did not read trough all the books I have set for myself for that. Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones was the last book for my Buddy reading challenge for 2021. and I hope to write more about all the books I read with my friend in 2021. and about all the books we picked to read in 2022.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

Two out of four books were part of a series. Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones I hope to continue in 2022. with House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones. I have the book ready and waiting on my shelf and feel a lot more excited about reading it after Castle in the Air. The other one I had very high hopes for: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi. I even put it down as a 5 star prediction! There was something about the setting that I just could not get into.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

With the year end and my over the top reading plans not fullfilled, I am left with evaluating my free time and reading plans for next year. In accordance with this my recommendation from December is to get ready for more surprises and give more chances to new authors!

Final thoughts on December 2021 reading

From December I have a pile of books left I wanted to read for Reindeer Readathon 2021 and the sad part is I am eager to read most of them. I will utilize these to create a reading TBR for January. I have lost half of the month to no reading at all and really do not like the result. Creating a fine balance between work and my reading plans is going to be a challenge and I might find myself with some disheartening results for the first few months of 2022. as well. December was busy and I did not take the time to contemplate. My sole desire from this December is to try for more, read more, do more, laugh more, enjoy more and experience more.

November Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – November 2021

This November I have read:

The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice ★★★★★

Bajki robotów by Stanisław Lem ★★★★

Things Fall Apart ( The African Trilogy #1 ) by Chinua Achebe ★★★

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers ★★★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

I’m going to go with three and a half books read in November because I’ve finished the last one in December. I am not happy with the amount and I blame work, stress and being sick 😦 I am even unusually late with this monthly reading review for the same reasons!

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in November? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice was definitely the best book I’ve read in November! There are some scenes I kept comparing to the movies and I really enjoyed this book so much I am even hyped for the next book in The Vampire Chronicles! There were a lot more historical details to this book than I expected and it was so much better for it. It was even an expiring to read about some of the locations because in the midst of the global pandemic we are currently living I wanted to be able to travel.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

Things Fall Apart ( The African Trilogy #1 ) by Chinua Achebe was the least favorite book I’ve read in November. It was not horrible or even bad – it’s just that it did not make for a great reading experience for me personally. I am glad to have read it since it was on my TBR for years. The depths and cultural innuendos were all very clear but my mind kept wanting to read about more magical and more comforting things.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

I tried to take the November off from any reading plans and clear out my TBR. This did not turn out as I wanted since I have still not read trough Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. The first one I keep finding disappointing because of the style of writing since I expected something either more serious or more funny. And the second one is starting to really weigh on me since I have been postponing the reading for over a year now. I’m around 400 pages in and still have about 700 left to read trough. The small font and the sheer number of pages are disheartening.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

The read trough The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice was the only progress with many book series I still have on my TBR. Foolishly I think I’ve made my reading plans for next year a bit too early since I’ve put off many of the book series for next year. For December I actually had problems finding a standalone book to read so I expect to do a bit better in this regard.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Stay healthy and read books at your own pace! Also Anne Rice is so underrated at the moment!

Final thoughts on November 2021 reading

Small amount of books I’ve read in November made me start facing the fact that I will not reach my reading goal for this year. I am behind in every aspect and I feel very bothered by this. It just felt like one of those months that leach energy just to go on from one day to the next. Books used to be a comfort and something to look forward to but the failure to reach my reading goals and balance the new work schedule is starting to take it’s toll. I did get a nice pile of new books I was looking forward to and hope to write about them soon to try and focus on something nice and positive.

Reindeer Readathon 2021

This is my second year participating in the Reindeer Readathon! You can check out how it all went last December HERE! Reindeer Readathon was created by Erik and you can find the official announcement for it on his Breakeven Books YouTube channel HERE. I even tried to clear out my TBR in order to fit the books I have left in my plans for the rest of the year. This year all participants were randomly put into one of the five teams available to make the reading challenge among groups more fair by the number of participants. Last year I was in team Candy Cane with lovely Amanda as a leader – you can check out her channel and give her some love and support HERE.

This year I am placed in Team Stocking and my team leader is Savy Writes Books. You can check out her content HERE. While I would have loved to be placed in the team I was last year because the coordination trough Instagram with Amanda suited me better I am going to do my best to help Team Stocking win!

Here are my book choices for Reindeer Readathon 2021:

DASHER – 10 PTS

A short story (or collection ) or novella

The Burning Man (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn #0.5) by Tad Williams

DANCER – 15 PTS

A book by one of your favorite authors (rereads count too)

Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

PRANCER – 20 PTS

A book with a travel element in it (vacation, quest etc.)

Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones

VIXEN – 20 PTS

A book that has recently caught your eye

Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy #1) by K.F. Breene

COMET – 15 PTS

A 5 star prediction

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi

CUPID – 25 PTS

Take a shot at reading a new author

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming (Millennial Contest #1) by Roger Zelazny, Robert Sheckley

DONNER – 20 PTS

A book with green or red as the primary color on the cover

Vampire Stories by Richard Dalby (Editor), Peter Cushing (Introduction)

BLITZEN – 30 PTS

Choose at least 3 books and have one chosen randomly to read – Boyfriend pick!

Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački

RUDOLPH – 15 PTS

A standalone book

Čitam da se pročitam by Miha Kovač

Just like last year there are some additional rules and options! I hope the be able to read all nine books I’ve entered here and while last year I did some bonus books as well due to work – life balance I don’t think I will be able to more this year. Also while I decided to add an e-book to the list, audio books are not my thing and none of the books on my list this year are over 500 pages long for the bonus options to apply…

I am pretty happy with my pile of books. All the books on the list are books I own except for one that is borrowed.

Go Team Stocking!

October Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – October 2021

This October I have read:

Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola ★★★★

Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton et al ★★★

Alien ( Alien Movie Novelizations #1 ) by Alan Dean Foster ★★★

Stoner by John Williams ★★

Jebo sad hiljadu dinara by Boris Dežulović ★★★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

I decided to count in one book I finished in November here and my book total with it is 5 books. This is obviously less than I had hoped but thinking on the at least two weeks of no reading at all in October I am unusually OK with this number. I remember when I would be a lot more upset with myself for reading only 5 (4,5) books for the whole month.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in October? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola was very impressive. I did not expect to like it so much at all. At first glance the artwork seemed dark and heavy but for some reason it strangely fit – maybe October mood had something to do with it. The forewords to both chapters, the artwork guide and all the extras that went with the edition I have are really adding value to my reading experience.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

Stoner by John Williams was the first book of the month and a book club reading pick. I did not appreciate the heavy and depressing setting of the book. It was a real downer and I never like those in general. Its not my type of a story and I look for a little bit more magic in my book picks.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

All the books I have read in October were part of a reading challenge plan. The obvious thing is I had planned for more. I am torn between wanting to add more diversity into my reading or adding more comfort picks. Lately it seems like I miss comfort picks and random reads more and more. This is making me rethink my plans for the end of the year as well. I have been left with 3 not read books out of 8 books I have planned to read in October.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

I started with reading Hellboy finally! I am now more motivated to get the rest of them as well. I am happy with getting them at a slower pace. All other many book series I am currently reading I did not manage to fit into this October…

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Lately I have been pulling out some books that were hidden and forgotten on my bookshelves as well as reading some library books that were on my TBR for ages. Now I have four books I am in the middle of reading of and my interest in them varies from time to time. The book look very Autumn appropriate in color. I can see my tastes books changing and I am glad for that. My recommendation based on October is to question the books on long TBR often and read the quirky books more!

Final thoughts on October 2021 reading

I am not entirely pleased with my reading total this October. I had plans for more but am trying to look at it from a positive perspective and focus on the genres of the books I have read. My reading piles include more and more library books, and even with that I still have some books from my own bookshelves that are filling me with a sense of accomplishment. The only thing that really worries me is that the book Empire of the Vampire ( Empire of the Vampire #1 ) by Jay Kristoff that I foolishly expected back in September has still not arrived. I keep including it in my reading plans for two months in a row and it feels demotivating. I keep giving it more time to arrive but will probably have to write back to Book Depository and ask what happened. I keep stalling for this because I don’t want my money back – I want the book to be here!

As the year is almost done I am trying to make some plans and review my reading goals for the 2021. I make take a one month break from Bookopoly in November and use that time to make a list of books I want to read by the end of the year. More on those plans in a separate post soon. At the moment I have a bigger pile of the books I am in the middle of reading than the pile of the books I have read in October!

Bookopoly Chance Cards Season 2.

Just over a year ago I made my first Bookopoly TBR board and decided to make Bookopoly reading challenge a buddy reading project with a booklover friend Vivone. You can check out that first Bookopoly post HERE. Since then we had many changes to our boards to make them fit more to our reading habits and preferences.

One of the requirements for the Bookopoly board was a set of 16 Chance Cards with book titles for a random draw each time we end our movement on a Chance Card tile. Eight Chance Cards have titles of eight books I am looking forward to read and other eight Chance Cards have titles of books I am less excited about but still want to read. I decided to use this opportunity and use books that I already own and choose the titles from my own bookshelves. This resulted in first 15 out of 16 titles to be books I already own and is something I am very happy about.

Here are the first 16 book titles I put on Chance Cards:

The Chosen Half-Elf (Elfes #4) by Éric Corbeyran, Jean-Paul Bordier (Illustrator) ★★★★

The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson ★★★★

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ★★

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon ★★★★

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos ★★★

Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

Pride (Shifters #3) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★★

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu ★★★

Naked City by Ellen Datlow (Editor) ★★★★

Elminster: The Making of a Mage (Forgotten Realms: Elminster #1) by Ed Greenwood  ★★★★

Master of Chains (Forgotten Realms: The Fighters #1) by Jess Lebow ★★★

The Hedge Knight: The Tales of Dunk and Egg by George R.R. Martin  ★★★★

Time Weaver (Drakon #5) by Shana Abe ★★★

Antologija suvremene japanske novele by Kazuo Tanaka (Editor) ★★★★

Real World by Natsuo Kirino ★★★

The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice

On this picture The Chosen Half-Elf (Elfes #4) by Éric Corbeyran, Jean-Paul Bordier is missing because it was a digital edition.

Some books I put on Chance Cards I ended up reading for some other reading challenges and the amount of times I landed on the Chance Card tile was surprisingly high. This resulted in me needing a new set of 16 titles for Chance Cards! This time I decided to use all the titles from my own bookshelves and it is a big part of the reason why I have not updated my TBR Jar Draw project. The purpose of my TBR Jar Draw project was to read the books from my own shelves and I have been doing that surprisingly well in the last few years.

At the moment I am reading the last book from the first set – The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice and have already drawn a new Chance Card from the second batch and have added the Bajki robotów by Stanisław Lem to my reading for October ( I am not sure if I’m going to make it by the end of the month since life interrupts a lot of my reading sessions lately).

Here are the 16 new book titles for Chance Cards:

Bajki robotów by Stanisław Lem

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming (Millennial Contest #1) by Roger Zelazny, Robert Sheckley

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo

A Wind in the Door (Time Quintet #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

Necroscope (Necroscope #1) by Brian Lumley

The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood

The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber #1-10 ) by Roger Zelazny

Concertina: The Life And Loves Of A Dominatrix by Susan Winemaker

Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne

Loki: Where Mischief Lies (Marvel Press Novels) by Mackenzi Lee

Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home (Broken Heart #4) by Michele Bardsley

Love In Vein: Tales of Vampire Erotica by Poppy Z. Brite

Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1) by Michelle Paver

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 2 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) by Nancy Holder

Neuromancer (Sprawl #1) by William Gibson

On this picture Neuromancer (Sprawl #1) by William Gibson is missing since I loaned the book to a friend.

First sixteen books for Chance Cards have amounted to 5081 pages and are mostly around 300 pages long each. The longest book from the first batch is 539 pages long and the shortest is only 55. From all the book titles I had on my Chance Cards only one book was rated with two stars and I did not particularly liked it. In contrast 9 out of 16 books I loved and rated four or five stars. I am happy to report that this made me read trough some books that I had on my shelf for years and I even liked them more than I expected to. I had a clear vision of the books I was looking forward to read and this might be why I read some of them even before I pulled their Chance Card out for Bookopoly. This might happen again with the new batch and I refuse to save or hold the titles just because I will pull their Chance Card eventually. When I pull a title I have already read I just draw the next one until I run out of Chance Cards.

Both piles have one title missing from the list.

The second batch of sixteen books I have chosen have a bit more pages total – 6501. The average book is around 350 long and the biggest difference is with the book with the most pages. The longest book in the second batch has 1258 pages and the shortest has 166. I realize that I might have to give myself more time to finish my Bookopoly reading in the future, since my schedule is more busy than it was last few years. Right now I am quite busy with reading for work and some of my books have taken the back seat until I ease into things I have on my plate right now. The amount of books in English language ratio and books in Croatian language remains the same and I still have a lot of variety in genres. Some of the books on my lists are older and not so well known but I always have some popular and bestseller titles I have yet to read.

What do you think about my lists and book choices? Have you read any and what did you think about them?

Leave a comment and let me know!