November Book Wrap Up 2019

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This November was quite eventful for me. In a month and a half I visited several European countries and capitals. End of October is reserved for a trip to Essen Spiel board game fair in north Germany. After that there was the Interliber book fair in Zagreb which I also attended. I made one other trip to Zagreb to pass my professional state exam that lasted for two days. The circumstances were not exactly perfect since there is an ongoing strike by the teachers and educators in the country that lasts for over a month now. I like to joke that the education system of the whole country had to collapse for me to pass my exam.. I also went on a one day trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital city of Sarajevo. My month was filled with travel and studying and lots of little panic attacks as well. To top it all off I enrolled on a course for a 3D designer the day after I passed my professional exam. First day I got home with an armful of seven new studying manuals that made my arms hurt just from carrying them.  All this being said, we can now move onto my usual Monthly reading review 🙂

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Monthly reading review – November 2019

This November I have read:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★★

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

I read one book and a bunch of stuff I had to study to pass my professional state exam. My book club even excused me from reading obligations for the month! While I’m happy with passing my exam I hope I will get to read more books in December!

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

While I’ve rad only one book it has left a very good impression on me. I like how the main character has a will ad courage to fight for herself and choices she thinks a right for her.

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

The big pause I had to put on my reading in November was kinda hard on me. I had trouble concentrating and would usually bring a book with me everywhere I went. The book would mostly stay unread and worked as a safety object at my side.

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

I specifically made plans on the books I will be reading by the end of the year. You can check out my reading plan HERE It will be hard to compensate for a whole lost month of reading but I’m starting on it already!

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

I’ve read a second book in a series and have a third one on standby. There are few other book series I can’t wait to get to as well!

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

November recommendation is for taking the time and setting one’s own pace at reading no matter what else is happening in your life!

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Trying out Inkitt / Galatea

If you like trying out new things there are many reading apps out there for brave readers. So far I tried a few apps that help with e-books organisation and provide a platform for reading in general. Years ago before I tried out Kindle I used Aldiko and Cool Reader on an old tablet I used then.

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Lately my Facebook feed has been clogged with adverts for various new reading apps and after ignoring them all for a while I decided to try some out just to get rid of the adds. I went for the most annoying one first – Inkitt. The reason I though of it most annoying is because the add I was getting was for a supernatural werewolf themed story with questionable morals. Basically what jumped out as an add was a message communication in chat form between a girl and an alpha werewolf type going all abusive-possessive. To top it all out the add has an audio of howling wolves to it. The story it advertised is called The Millennium Wolves Series by Sapir Englard.

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The first few chapters are available on Inkitt and after that there is a note that Galatea app has picked up the story and the rest is available there. Both Inkitt and Galatea apps are connected and Inkitt serves as a sort of testing grounds for the stories that get picked for Galatea app.

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So naturally I went and downloaded another free reading app on my phone. Galatea is promoting the stories (I have issues with calling them books for some reason) as “an immersive experience”. And to some extent that is what they are – experience. The most notable difference is the sound system that is in the background of the stories you read. There were sounds one could hear as a background noise in cities, places where people gather and cheer, creepy places, forest sounds and many more. The sounds usually creeped me out and thankfully there is a mute option for those.

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What I was not prepared for were the vibrating effects! In scenes where there is some kind of chase involved or other situations where the character’s pulse is speeding the phone starts to vibrate. And in case of some stories the whole screen would start changing color and sort of pulse during the sexually charged scenes.

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All special effects of the immersive experience aside, the thing that bothered me more is that this app is making the reader feel like an addict. The chapters were very short with reading time around 15 minutes per chapter or less. Each chapter is noted with the amount of “spicy” content.

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While the app is free there are some other ways the creators have found to make money by offering what I refer to in most video game as – in game purchases. You get access to one small chapter a day – there is a clock timer that lets you read next chapter at the same time each day.

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You can skip the wait by paying with points provided trough the app. You can buy bundles of points or earn 1 point per day by commenting on a chapter. There are also few other ways to earn points.

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There are a lot of annoying things that bother me regarding this app. For one – the content of the first three chapters I read on Inkitt was a bit different than what was available in first three chapters on Galatea. The characters reacted a bit different. Point of view was available form another character and the whole story had a different feel to it. The ending of the chapter was the same but the story went a bit different overall.

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This discrepancy annoyed me more than the “pay for a chapter” policy. I even tried calculating how much it would cost for skipping all the chapters to get the whole story and the amount ended up so high it was unacceptable for me. I sometimes binge and get an e-book on Kindle but refuse to spend more than 10$ for an e-book in general since I prefer the paper copy on my shelf.

I ended up frustrated since the story I was interested in is not available anywhere else and the platform of the app did not appeal to me. Another issue is I have trouble with adding the story I’m reading to my Goodreads profile. Finding the actual title takes some time and I find it ludicrous that reading of one “season” of the story takes a whole month unless you pay for access.

This app treats the story as a streaming service would a TV show or another video content. I understand that immersive experience effects make it a package deal and a different multimedia experience, but this type of “reading” just isn’t “my cup of tea”.

What do you think?

Have you tried it?

Would you try it?

October Book Wrap Up 2019

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Monthly reading review – October 2019

This October I have read:

Buick Rivera by Miljenko Jergović ★

The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1) by Tanya Bird ★★★

The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos ★★★

Black Butler Vol. 1 (Black Butler, #1) by Yana Toboso ★★★★

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent  ★★★★

Suddenly by Candace Camp ★★★

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti ★★★

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan ★★★★

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

Due to the trip I recently made I lost a whole week of reading time so I’m a little grumpy to have gone back to single digits by reading 9 books in October.

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

I’m very much into the Grishaverse with Shadow and Bone book by Leigh Bardugo. I’m slowly savoring the characters and the story. I’m hoping to have enough time to rad the whole trilogy soon!

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

The only book I was really not happy about this October was a book club assignment – Buick Rivera by Miljenko Jergović. The plot was completely lost on me and the characters did not help. The book actually started really good but somewhere along the way all sense of the plot was gone.

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

I made a list of fifteen books I wish to read by the end of the year and so far I’ve rad three books and started on another two from the list which is cool. You can check out my list HERE. Also I made progress with my TBR Jar Draw reading challenge by reading two picks in one month! You can check both in my posts HERE and HERE.

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

This October I’ve actually started a few new book series! From all the first books of the series I’ve started I will be continuing almost all of them. The two exceptions are Kindle editions that I am not ready to invest in to buy the sequels so I can read them further: The Royal Companion (The Companion, #1) by Tanya Bird and The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos. I guess I was not that impressed with them to really want to spend money to continue reading them.

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

Aside from being lost in Grishaverse trilogy I am quite enjoying going back to Rick Riordan’s world of half bloods and Percy Jackson series by reading the graphic novel editions. At first I was not that thrilled with the artwork but the story is still amazing. Sadly I have only first three graphic novels and I don’t know when will I get the other two :/

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Book Reviews in October:

Suddenly by Candace Camp ★★★ – CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW

Stray (Shifters #1) by Rachel Vincent  ★★★★ – CLICK HERE FOR MY REVIEW

Currently reading:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

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