May The Force Read With You 2023 – Thoughts and Experience

For the last two months I have been hard at work at organizing my reading with interesting reading challenges. This May it was a time for May The Force Read With You again. I participated back in 2021. and you can check how it went HERE.

My TBR and preparation post for this years challenge can be found HERE.

As always, I encourage you to check out the reading challenge creator at Breakeven Books HERE and give him some much deserved love.

This year the concept of the challenge was more about creating a character and choosing your adventure than just reading books that fit an imagined prompt that goes well with Star Wars theme.

One notable difference from my TBR in 2021. and in 2023. is the sheer number of books I choose to read for the challenge. Where in 2021. I had read five books, this year I went above and beyond and read an amazing twelve books. This reading challenge helped me to get back on a higher number of books read in general and it was fun and exciting to read trough some books I had on my shelf for quite some time.

Before I go into my character and my options I would like to take a quick look at some stats:

For this reading challenge I have read a total of 12 books!

12 books I’ve read had a total of 3229 pages.

From 12 books 7 were a paper copy from my own shelf, 3 were paper copies from the library and 2 were digital editions.

Here are the book prompts that helped me create my character:

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga #6) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

1 & 2 – Drain Knowledge: Read a book over 600 pages. Counts as 2 ability prompts. (Dark Side)

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

3 – Telekinesis: If Jedi, do a dark side ability prompt; if Sith, do a light side ability prompt. (Neutral)

Light Side Plant Surge: Read a book with nature on the cover

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Mellisa Bashardoust ★★★★

4 – Doppelganger: Do a re-read. (Neutral)

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

5 – Memory Walk: Read a book that came out 15+ years ago. (Dark Side)

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan saga #7) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Lightsaber – Look at a color wheel. Read a book with the opposite of your favorite color

The Siege of Cadanla (Elfes#9) by Éric Corbeyran, Gwendal Lemercier (Artist), Diogo Saito (Cover Art), Christina Cox-De Ravel (Translator), DigiKore Studios (Colorist) ★★★★★

Blaster – Read a book in a different spot every time you pick it up to read it.

Anaïs Nin – Sur la mer des mensonges by Léonie Bischoff ★★★★

Space Ship – Read a book that has a vehicle on the cover.

Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan Saga #8) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★★

Bounty Hunters – Read a book that’s recently caught your attention.

King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin ★★

Droids – Read a book with no people on the cover.

Ar-MenL’Enfer des enfers by Emmanuel Lepage ★★★★★

First Order – Read a book with a prologue

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris ★★★

Galactic Empire – Read a book with over 3 people on the cover.

Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet ★★★★★

This is what my character sheet looks like:

Again, I have not been active in any reading sprints or activities. I made a few posts on the Discord channel of the group and asked a few questions. That was the height of my interaction. Since the first book I read was the longest – Empire of the Vampire with over 700 pages, It took me more than the whole first week to read it and only then did I realize that this time there were no tracking and writing in what we had read. Usually there is a Google form to fill in and afterwards creators get a bunch of reading data to display and summarize in case of group contests and in order to track how many books people read during a challenge in general.

I’ve read a great number of books I’ve enjoyed for this reading challenge and I am happy to have participated!

The Adventurerathon Readathon June 2023.

For the month of June I decided to participate in a new readathon based on adventuring. You can check out the announcement video for more details and options HERE. The author of this reading challenge is Kay Beth bookish and you can check out her content and give her some love HERE.

From all available options I decided to go on an adventure as a pirate simply because I am in summer mode already and lately I have been enjoying board games and media with pirate themes quite a bit!

Each adventure comes with some mandatory and some optional reading prompts. As a Pirate my main quest is to “Plunder a Greatship” To do that I will need some tools and some special skills I get to chose among the reading prompts. I will have a reading prompt that will be connected to my my quest and some reading prompts for possible side quests as well. Here is what it all looks like in graphic mode:

First here is my Main Quest and Tools and Skills options:

Tools – Sword – Sword on the Cover

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

Tools – Ship – Ship/Boat on the Cover

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

Skills – Sailing – Set at Sea

All the Tides of Fate ( All the Stars and Teeth #2 ) by Adalyn Grace

Skills – Navigation – Features Travel

Galaxy Trucker: Rocky Road by Jason A. Holt

Skills – Dueling – Has a Tournament or Competition

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

Starting Quest – Book featuring Pirates

Long John Silver, Integral (Long John Silver #1-4) by Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Lauffray

Final Quest – Book about a great Treasure or Fortune

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

Second are the Side Quest prompts and options:

Search for Buried Treasure – Book with a Map

A Deal with the Elf King ( Married to Magic #1) by Elise Kova

Spend Time Ashore – Smut

Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) by Katee Robert

Adopt a Parrot – Bird or Feather on the Cover

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

Escape Capture! – Characters on the Run or Fleeing

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1 ) by Adalyn Grace

Count Your Coins! – Flip a Coin and watch some Pirates

I guess I will be watching Our Flag Means Death!

I have made my reading list accordingly. As usual I decided to try and put in a book for each possible prompt and hope for the best! I like that there is an option for a non reading task even though I am not thrilled with the options there. I might indulge in some gameplay of pirate themed board games like Francis Drake, Ahoy!, Forgotten Waters or many more like those from my shelves and video games like Sea of Thieves. When the time comes I will make a separate post on my gaming choices in June. For now here is a picture of a bunch of my board games with piratey/sea theme!

Monthly reading review – May 2023.

Monthly reading review – May 2023.

This May I have read:

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff ★★★★★

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga #6) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan saga #7) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan Saga #8) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★★

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Mellisa Bashardoust ★★★★

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

The Siege of Cadanla (Elfes#9) by Éric Corbeyran, Gwendal Lemercier (Artist), Diogo Saito (Cover Art), Christina Cox-De Ravel (Translator), DigiKore Studios (Colorist) ★★★★★

Anaïs Nin – Sur la mer des mensonges by Léonie Bischoff ★★★★

King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin ★★

Ar-MenL’Enfer des enfers by Emmanuel Lepage ★★★★★

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris ★★★

Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet ★★★★★

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

In May I have read 12 TWELVE books total! I am very happy with this amount. I helped myself with an assortment of graphic novels but I am still happy with how I did!

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

There were many books I was happy about in May. I suppose that in May all the books I’ve read had a special treatment since I am still high on endorphins from so much reading and my rating has been a lot higher than usual! Among all the books I’ve read I decided to pick out two that have made the best impression: The Siege of Cadanla and Les Vieux Fourneaux. Both are graphic novels by mostly French authors. First one is fantasy and second is contemporary.

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

My least enjoyable read in whole month of May was King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin. Maybe it is because I simply cant get into mood for reading smut and maybe it was the hideous phrases like “unholy intrusion” that were the opposite of sexy to me. I am glad I did not buy the physical copy of this book like I was considering when BD was closing down…

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

My biggest reading plan was to read all the books I needed for May The Force Read With You 2023. All the books I have read in May are from that reading challenge TBR. This month I made a break from Buddy reading challenge and picked up some books from the library in order to fit the prompts for the reading challenge alone.

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

May was a great month for reading book series! More than half the titles I’ve read in May were part of a series. I finished a book series I started very long ago and did not like how it ended in the last book – Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris. I started two new book series I plan to continue Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff and Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet. I reread a favorite in Serbian edition Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton and had a blast with all the translated phrases and names. And what I am especially happy about I managed to read three books from Miles Vorkosigan saga!

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

Lately I have been enjoying a lot of graphic novels made by French authors! Modern graphic novels that cater to adult audiences and cover a wide range of serious themes. I find it enjoyable and contemplative when I am confronted with a visual representation of the theme and characters I am reading about. So my recommendation from May is to enjoy more graphic novels marketed for adults be it manga or more western formats.

Final thoughts on May 2023 reading

This May I have used a reading challenge TBR to up my reading and make myself read more in general with outstanding success! I would have to dig deep to check the previous months I have read this many books in a single month. I understand that I will probably have trouble reading at this pace for longer periods. For this reason I am already planning on a month with a more manageable reading plan. May was exciting reading month and I finally got to reading some books that were on my TBR for quite some time. There are some books I have read in May that will probably leaving my bookshelf for good. Finding out that my local library has a good selection of graphic novels was a useful information and a pleasant surprise and I will try to read more of their collection in the future months.

May 2023 was a great reading month and I hope that I will be able to keep up with it in June!

Book series – Stuck on the second book!

In an effort to have more control over all the book series I have started to readneed to finish or want to start on, I decided to make a few categories I can arrange them into and make myself busy with planning on how to fit them in my future reading plans!

There are lots of second books of the series where the first book did not make that great impression on me. When I was getting them, I went and acquired more than just the first book before reading any, AND NOW I am left with bunch of books on my shelves I did not read.

This is the most upsetting type of unread books on my bookshelves since there is an actual deterrent for me to pick up any of those books and start reading them. Some of these I have even considered just getting rid off without reading them BUT for some reason that did not happen. I feel the need to read them before I can safely find them a new home or something. All of these are on my TBR and on my bookshelves in physical form for few years without me even trying to pick them up.

Book series second books I am not jumping for joy to reading but want to read on anyway:

Belladonna (Ephemera, #2) by Anne Bishop

These two books were my pick to try reading something by Anne Bishop. She was an author that kept popping out on my recommendation lists and many readers were fans of her books. This was back when I was a student and working in a bookstore. I expected something intriguing and magical with a little erotica on the side. It has been over a decade since I’ve read the first book. What little I remember of it is marred by the memory of a slow uphill battle to read trough it. I remember the book was not engaging and even with the main character being an incubus I was bored while reading. Afterwards I remember thinking maybe I tried the wrong book series when I wanted to try reading this author for the first time – the series everyone still praises are Black Jewels and The Others.

The prospect of 450+ pages is not something I am looking forward to. Considering there are a great number of books I am more motivated to read before this one it is not very likely I will be reading this book anytime soon. Chances of it being picked up for some reading challenge are also very slim . the cover does not offer any specific details for a visual prompt, my understanding of the plot being very vague so I can’t fit it in for any plot specific prompt either. The number of pages is too high for a casual read and it is missing out for that 500+ category. All in all very hard book for me to place for an actual reading plan. The fact that there are more books in the series afterwards don’t make me happy either…

The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac #2) by Vicki Patterson

Urban fantasy book series that came out more than fifteen years ago. I picked it up because it fit into the category I enjoy reading in general. I ended up with four books of the series: first, second, third and the fifth one! I have no idea if I’m ever gonna be able to get the fourth one! There are altogether six books in the series and a number of short stores across several short story collection. I remember reading the first book not so long ago – though it has probably been a few years and at this point I am scared to check GR for the actual date because then I would need to do this for each of my book series books!

Maybe it was the mood I was in when I picked it up and read it but it was okay. The creatures and location were interesting but it was more of an average reading experience and I just never felt the need to pick up the second book. Again it is 400+ pages long and not very inviting for the purpose of a reading challenge. It rates better than the book series I mentioned above because I just find UF genre more interesting.

Elminster in Myth Drannor (Forgotten Realms: Elminster #2) by Ed Greenwood

Story of Elminster was something that I let myself get hyped about long before I even bought the books. I played and online video game Dungeons and Dragons Online where the character has had a major role and was generally well liked. I have been playing pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons RPG across two decades on and off and enjoyed the experience. To read about the history and creation of a such a strong character was something I was genuinely interested in. I managed to get four books of the series – with again missing the fourth in chronological order.

Then I read the first book for a reading challenge few years back and almost hated it. The writing style was such an obvious “dude wrote this for other dudes” that I just could not get past it. Slightly over 300 pages long and published in 1992.! This book did not age well. There is something about the main character’s interaction with female characters that made me read and have the hairs on the back of my neck stand out with a sleezy feeling accompanying every reading session.

Judging the book series as a whole gives me hope for future character development of Elminster – in the fifth book he has a daughter that tries to kill him if the book cover is to be trusted! The number of books in the series has climbed to eleven in the mid 2010. Covers and plots are colorful enough for these books to fit into a reading challenge prompt or two. There is hope for this one yet…

Angel Souls and Devil Hearts ( The Shadow Saga #2) by Christopher Golden

These books are like a blast from the past. My general motivation for purchasing these was the vampire theme and urban fantasy setting. I remember the first book being horror dark with a splash of mystery to it. Vampires as a species type along with their background were well written as well. I was just in that period of my life when I did not read much but was intent on collecting books with vampire themes. This one seemed cool and cool it was. What I really disliked were the dark generic covers of UK editions I managed to get my hands on. Don’t get me wrong I strongly believe that the US covers are even worse and that this books series never had a fortune of a caring editor and designer to make sure the visual design of those covers is going to attract potential buyers. US covers look trashy and cliché and among the seven books of the series you can point out a single unifying motive on the cover other than the name of the author. Now that I think about it these UK covers are not that bad.

From what I remember reading in the first book, the characters and their background was rich and intriguing. along the side of vampires and usual urban fantasy elements the horror factor was a nice touch with some rather memorable gory scenes in particular. I don’t remember much but I remember few of those gory scenes. I am considering to read the first book again and give this book series a proper chance. I already have more than half the books – need only three more to complete the set.

My biggest issue is finding an excuse to reread the first book – a little under 400 pages makes it just on the wrong side of that inviting number of pages to get to it. At least now I will be actively looking for an excuse to try!

Confessions of a Bookseller ( The Diary of a Bookseller #2) by Shaun Bythell

This is, by far, the most recent addition to my bookshelves. It might have been an impulse buy to satisfy my neglected dream to own a bookstore. Unfortunately for my long neglected dream, reading the first book did little to inspire me to venture on my own real life adventure of owning a bookstore. The writing style is not as nearly as exciting as the blurbs on the front and back cover would lead you to believe. I might have expected way too much out of the bookstore owning life that it can be written about it in a book like this one – one that is supposed to be based on real life. I need to work on managing my expectations better.

Chances are, I will get to reading this book next time when I need a non fiction book for a reading challenge prompt or when that long neglected dream strikes me again. I recently found that there is a third instalment in this book series and I am not sure if that one is ever going to be on my reading or buying list.

Tanki bodež (His Dark Materials #2) by Philip Pullman

Long before the TV series or even the movie based on this book series came into being, these books were on my reading list as a YA fantasy (more like middle grade). Bf has read them and liked them and at one point I was excited to read them before the TV show comes out and we can watch it together. I barely remember what happened in the first book and I don’t have any fond memories of my reading experience.

For some, this book series is a staple of children’s fantasy and as someone who was supposed to be a librarian youthworker I thought I needed to read this. Whenever I think I NEED to read something for reasons other than my own intrinsic reading needs, I get even less motivated or excited to actually do it.

Most annoying thing about these books is the Croatian edition came out with two types of covers and I was not able to collect one or the other – second book is with a different cover version. And, at this time Croatian editions are sold out and hard to come by. We even watched the TV series and lost interest somewhere around season two. Generally, I just don’t seem motivated to go anywhere near this book series and I feel I might miss out if I let it go.

Chances of me picking these books up to read are slim to none, even with the size of the books being around that 300 mark that can fit a reading challenge prompts easily. I just did not know how much conflicted about these books I was…

Vjetar u Vratima (Time Quintet Series #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

These dreadfully dark covers targeted at children reader audience are Croatian editions of first two books in a series of total five books. Naturally, other books of the series never came out in translation – something that is rather common in Croatian book market. My first objection to these is that I am not targeted audience but it is, AGAIN! one of those beloved children’s books that I feel I should know more about. I was not an avid reader of big book or long stories when I was a child. I preferred the short stories and folk fairytale collections because I could not hold my attention for longer than that. So, as is the case with most children’s books for me, I never really read them when I was a child and now I have trouble understanding them. My second objection are the covers – dark and uninviting – I really dislike the style of these books.

Number of pages is a lot lower than all previously mentioned books – around 200 pages per book. In the past I came to a conclusion that my best course of action might be to read both books and then just get rid of them. I don’t like having these on my shelves and these are not something I plan to go back to.

I know there was a movie with Oprah and that nobody had a nice thing to say about it. It saddens me when that happens. It also did nothing to motivate me to finish my chapter with this book series.

In conclusion

Writing down my own thoughts about these books has helped me to clear a path for future reading plans that might include them. Learning what I have on my physical shelves and exploring how to reach that unattainable goal to read all the books I own gives me hope in organizing my time and reading better. Some of these will definitely be leaving my shelves and I might try completing others both by reading trough them and by collecting them – sadly these are two very different things.

I don’t expect to deal with all the books from this category by the end of the year but now I have a place to start and that is a great thing!

Book series – Excited to read!

In an effort to have more control over all the book series I have started to read, need to finish or want to start on, I decided to make a few categories I can arrange them into and make myself busy with planning on how to fit them in my future reading plans!

First category are the book series I am excited to read.

I love reading books with lots of sequels. When I find a story and characters I love, I want to have more books to read trough and enjoy. For this reason I will sometimes decide to buy more than one book from a completely new book series before I even started to read the first book! And this is also why the books I already own and have on my physical bookshelves are being promoted into priority category for the purpose of making any future reading plans.

Few years back I have made a decision to always prioritize the books I own and it has actually worked out wonderfully. When I look around the books on my shelves I am happy to report that the ratio of unread and read books is not as alarming as it might be.

Here are the books I am excited to read as a continuation of the book series I already enjoy and have on my shelves. They are not sorted in any particular order and these are all book series that I rated highly enjoyable to read because I like the characters, writing style of the author or the ideas they represent. Some of them are on my shelves longer and some are recent purchases. all of them are part of my ever present reading goal – to read trough all the books I own!

Vorkosigan Saga by Lois MacMaster Bujold

I was not always fond of science fiction because space is a confusing place and in theory I found it hard to relate and get into the cold outer space setting. Vorkosigan saga is one of those book series that completely changed how I view space opera genre and science fiction in general. The characters are relatable and “down to earth”. Even though my primary goal when I was buying the series was buying them for my BF to read and not me – I have learned to love and appreciate these books. The editions I have are translations in Croatian from a publisher that no longer exists which makes them a bit of a rarity. These books are highly underrated and they deal with ideas and topics relevant in any day and age – traditions, science versus belief, questions about gender, characters with disabilities, dealing with expectations of others, and so many more unexpected moral and personal questions you will be thinking about once you start reading trough satisfying number of books in the series.

My progress of the series is slow paced. I am somewhere half trough the series and I am excited follow more space adventures of the characters author has created about forty years ago!

Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Bardugo

One of the most recent additions to my book shelves since Hell Bent has only been published earlier this year. Leigh Bardugo has become an author whose books are automatically on my TBR and wish list. I have great respect for who ever is making the decisions to make her books well designed physically and beautiful too. I always choose to get her books in hard cover editions whenever possible. This particular series is dark academia theme and I have found the horror and mystery elements quite appealing. Again, this is an example of a book series that has helped me include genres I don’t normally read – mainly horror genre.

My progress with the series is: need to read the second book and then slowly and not so patiently wait for the next book after that to come out – probably why I’m not in a hurry to get to it…


Only exception on the lists of book series I own is a graphic novel I am reading in digital form. This is a part of an ongoing series that is currently on volume 30. This series is collaboration of many authors and artists. Most are originally European and mainly French descent but some of the collaborators expand out of those limits as well. This graphic novel came as a recommendation from a friend and I was impressed with depth of the story and beautiful coloring. Story is long and expanding many continents in a fantasy world filled with magical creatures and many different races. The volumes are short – around fifty pages each but are

My progress with the series: I am on volume nine out of current thirty available. I come back to this graphic novel series every time I need a good and fast read I know I am going to enjoy for a reading challenge!

Alpha (Strays #6) by Rachel Vincent

I love urban fantasy book series with interesting female protagonists. This is an older shifter book series with cats, they had me at cats! I love this series so much that I made my peace with not all the books being same size and format – otherwise this is a horrifying concept for me! One of the books I even bought used and a bit scraped up since I could not find it in any better condition – also not a comforting thought for me. This book series has been a lot of firsts for me in this regard even though it is a genre and theme I usually go for.

My progress with the series is almost done since I have only the last book of the series to read! I think i am saving it for some reading challenge that requires me to finish a book series or something…

Aurora’s End (The Aurora Cycle, #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My motivation when I got the first two books was to give author a try – I’m still very picky when space theme is present. It was supposed to prepare me to read another book by Jay Kristoff and it was not a planned buy when I got the first two books. I ended up reading both books in the same month and then immediately had to order the third one. That is how much I liked the characters and their dynamics! Also I really like the covers and how the characters are portrayed on them. The extra content in these soft cover edition has been impressive and it made me wonder if I can afford to get the hard cover editions. That is how much the extra content has been important to me. I would love seeing this book series turned into animated series or a TV series but I don’t hold my breath for that to happen at all…

My progress into the series: need to read the last book and I am postponing it because this is only a trilogy and I don’t want it to end so soon…

Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8) by Kevin Hearne

This is one of the older book series I got into so many years ago. Trough the years my interest has lessened. But then I read next book of the series after a long pause ( years long pause!) and was surprised at how easy I got into the story and how the characters were still captivating. It was one of the book series I started collecting in hopes of reading it along with my BF. He ended up reading more than I did and now I’m not sure if he is going to finish it at all after such a long break.

My progress with the series is close to finishing – three books left! Good thing is the author has finished writing and aside from the books I already have, there are also few short stories I can read.

The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles, #3) by Anne Rice

Vampire theme was always a fascination of mine and I still have a tendency to collect vampire themed books – be it short story collections or book series. Anne Rice has always been a staple of vampire genre and I always had a feeling I needed to read these. This nagging feeling I needed to read something had made me collect Anne Rice books but held me back from actually reading any of them. At one point I had more than ten books written by Anne Rice and have not read one single of them. After a shaky and bumpy start with the first book of the famous Vampire Chronicles I got to read the second one and finally gotten thrilled with it. I am slightly unhappy with all the different covers for the mass market paperback editions I own but the hard truth is I can’t find all the books in a more uniformed editions because there has been so many different editions over the years. I would love to own these in a prettier collector editions – something more like Folio society editions.

My progress with the series is slower than any other book series I own so many books of – I need to start reading the third book in the series and the small mass market paperback editions with chubby 500+ pages are not that inviting not easy to fit in any reading challenge…

Hellboy #2 by Mike Mignola

Graphic novel collection that started as a yearly present I picked out on a Zagreb Book Fair Interliber for my BF. These editions are hard cover and in Croatian. They each have more than one volume inside them and it makes it harder to follow on GR once I start reading them. I plan to collect the rest but have been unable to afford them last few years.

My progress with the series – I have accidentally read the first and the last graphic novel of the series and not I need to get and start reading the second omnibus edition ( right one in the picture)

Batman: Nightwalker (Dc Icons #2) by Marie Lu

Once I had an idea to collect all the books from the DC Icons series because the list of authors connected into this project was impressive. Each book is written by one of the popular YA authors and I liked the opportunity to try reading some new popular author for the first time without being sucked into another YA book series that everyone else is into. Hard cover books were a present from my BF and now I am struggling to find the resto of the DC Icons editions in hard cover which is proving to be near impossible…

My progress with the series: not in any hurry to read the second book since the prospect of finding the next book is going to be a nightmare…

In conclusion

Book series I am excited to continue reading from my own book shelf ( with one notable exception) is not that long but I can not call it short either. I expect that with starting some new book series and finishing out the last books from the series on this list – the number of the books that are part of a series and I am excited to continue will change, evolve and, most likely, grow. I am perfectly fine with that thought and I am happily looking forward to exciting books I can enjoy reading in the future!

Orilium Spring Equinox ’23 – Thoughts and experience

This April was a strange month for me. For quite some time I have been in a reading slump and I was hyped about Orilium reading challenge to make some progress on a personal front as well. From day one I was in the zone and reading like crazy. This tempo of reading a book every few days surprised me.

If you want to check out my TBR post with more details first you can do that HERE.

I am proud to announce that I managed to read all my reading prompts and now I am officially a Novice Necromancer!

Here are some statistics on my reading:

The ratio of six books in Croatian and only two in English is a rare occurrence for me. Last few years I have been very much into reading the books I own and this April I have read three books from the library – my usual library books number is one per month and a half. Another anomaly is the books I own and in Croatian language – this April it was three of those as well! It has left me wondering about my reading pace and the correlation of reading the books in my native language.

In number of pages I have read 2009 pages across eight books. This comes down to around 250 pages per book on average. I consider most of the books short – the longest book was 400 pages and the shortest 111 pages. With shorter books I managed to read more in total so that might be one of the reasons I was successful in April. I am pleased that I did not use mangas or graphic novels to make it easier for the reading challenge.

Here is the list of books with my rating for them:

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

Biblioteka by Zoran Živković ★★★★

Smolder (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 29.) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Croatian edition) ★★★★

The Word for World Is Forest ( Hainish Cycle Series ) by Ursula Le Guin ★★★★

Le Diable amoureux by Jacques Cazotte ★★★

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

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J. D. Robb ★★★

Dealing with the genre of the books I have been reading, only one book was not some kind of fantasy in genre. I had two books adult urban fantasy, one middle school fantasy, one YA fantasy, one was hardcore science fiction and two were fantastical realism. I was surprised by books I thought would not like and ended up loving them instead.

All the books had appropriate tags for my necromancer calling for the Orilium challenge: necromancy, death, renewal, spirituality, challenging the limits of ones imagination and nature. Stories I’ve read and liked in April had some kind of tragedy as a central theme but ended up in an uplifting tone. There is life after death after all.

What is next in my Orilium journey?

Orilum as a reading challenge is still hard for me to keep up with. I’m not into reading sprints because I find it hard to adhere to their schedule. Discord group of the challenge is so overwhelmingly full of activity on so many chats and thematically placed channels that it is just too much for me to follow. I put in a lot of energy into making lists and trying to understand the Adventure quests, guild challenges and stuff that just comes up on one of the platforms.

Seeing people leveling up in Discord chats confused me because I still don’t understand how to participate in those. I had so many questions and people were very helpful and answered all my questions – bless them! Sometimes the issue was that I didn’t even know how to ask a question about the problem I had.

By the end of April I found out that there was a whole year reading challenge in choose your adventure style and I am still unclear how to get on that one. It is designed to read a book per month following a certain prompt and by the end of the year you get to read your way to have a familiar! Here is a picture of the map with reading prompts.

There was also another way to participate and get extra points in the last reading sprint of the month. Everyone got a bingo card to fill in all the prompts that they managed to read during the month – not all were about reading some were about the participation in the events. I found it by chance when everyone was posting their results in the Discord chat. Here is how my unplanned bingo went.

I will have to invest more time and energy to try to connect more dots on how to participate. I have feeling that my calling was aptly chosen – Necromancers are not very social as I view them anyway. Also I will have to come to terms to not being able to be a part of all the activities and everything Orilium has to offer.

I have made progress on building my character a bit and have read a book for my focus!

Read a book with bone on the cover

Hellboy in Hell by Mike Mignola ★★★★

I still have to deal with one prompt for my character background – oldest TBR. I have problems defining that for me. I have few options but none are very productive at this time.

Final thoughts on Orilium experience in April

I am glad to have managed to participate and will keep up with the stuff I can. This reading challenge has helped me to read some books that have been on my TBR for a while now. It has also helped to get me out of a reading slump I was in. I am pleased with my choice of a calling – Necromancer! even though I was attracted to Demonologist at first. I will try to finish my character by reading the last book for the oldest TBR book which I have left for my character creation concerning my background.

As always all thanks to the creators of the Orilium challenge! For those who are interested to learn more, head over to Book Roast YouTube channel HERE and show your appreciation there!

Monthly reading review – April 2023.

Monthly reading review – April 2023.

This April I have read:

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

Biblioteka by Zoran Živković ★★★★

Smolder (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 29.) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Croatian edition) ★★★★

The Word for World Is Forest ( Hainish Cycle Series ) by Ursula Le Guin ★★★★

Le Diable amoureux by Jacques Cazotte ★★★

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

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J. D. Robb ★★★

Hellboy in Hell by Mike Mignola ★★★★

The Last Shadow (Elfes #8) by Olivier Peru, Christina Cox-De Ravel(Translator), Stéphane Bileau (Illustrator), Luca Merli (Colourist) ★★★★★

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

This April I have read 10 books! This puts me into double digits for the first time in a very long time!. The fact that Spring is usually my least successful reading season makes this a great feat indeed. I am pleased and hopeful for the rest of my reading year!

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

The most wholesome book for me this month was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. The epistolary form was a lot more easygoing and faster to read than I anticipated. I was prepared to be stressed because of the theme and expected to be traumatized by this book a bit. That did not happened. Instead I got a warm and tragic story with historical and human elements that promotes the benefit of socialization and bibliotherapy. The cover is sugary and deceiving in part.

I was delighted with The Last Shadow (Elfes #8) so much! It was short by bookish standards – around 50+ pages in digital form, yet the story was overwhelmingly rich and impactful. I love the worldbuilding that pours out of the every new volume of the series and always wonder about me not remembering all the detail from the previous volumes so I can appreciate it more. Also the visuals and artwork are beautiful to me!

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

There were three books in April that I rated 3 out of 5 stars. One of them had a very old style since it was published in 1772. and thematically I don’t think it aged very well. The other two were a case of high expectations that were not met. I hate it when I want to like the book and then get let down.

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

I managed to read all I the books I planned to read in April and even added two more to catch up with those double digits I was hoping to read up to. Finishing those planes gave me energy and elation to make more plans and to read more.

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

Considering that over half of all the books I’ve read in April were part of a book series of some sort I am pleased with how well I did with them. I sampled three new authors and their book series. Two out of those three were above my expectations: Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1) by Michelle Paver and The Word for World Is Forest (Hainish Cycle Series ) by Ursula Le Guin. I did not plan on reading more from those but will now need to revise my plans. Smolder (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 29.) by Laurell K. Hamilton was a book I really wanted to love and while I was really invested in it, the experience as a whole was less than desired. Only good thing was that it made me up to date with the book series a lot sooner since I even decided to get the hardcover copy as soon as it was available with the preorder option. I will need to read more from both Hellboy and Elfes graphic novel series as well.

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

As always I would like to recommend this months favorites: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and The Last Shadow (Elfes #8). The most underrated books I would also like tor recommend are: Wolf Brother  (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness #1) by Michelle Paver and The Word for World Is Forest (Hainish Cycle Series) by Ursula Le Guin. The first one is a middle grade historical fantasy series with some darker elements and the other is a science fiction classic author that everyone should try reading more.

Final thoughts on April 2023 reading

April was invigorating for my reading. I managed to catch up with my reading plans where only last month I was so very behind on making the light sixty books by the end of the year I set for myself as a goal. This has made me hopeful and eager to make more reading plans and organize my reading for May and further on for the whole year. I am looking for possible reading challenges to participate in and even starting to get more into Orillium reading adventure. I already put up my reading plan for May and you can check it out HERE. It is an ambitious plan and I will need you to wish me luck in achieving it!

May The Force Read With You 2023 TBR

This is the second time I am participating in Breakeven Books reading challenge on the theme of Star Wars in May! Last year I skipped it but this year I will try my best to read the most of it.

You can check how it all started way back in 2021 HERE and see what my experience with the challenge was HERE.

Also I encourage you to check out Breakeven Books channel and show him some love HERE.

This year the challenge was combined with some RPG style characterization. Meaning, each participant can read trough their adventure in Star Wars universe and create their own character. Options include race, some equipment, some allies and some abilities. all of these are still dependent on your choice of Light or Dark Side. There is even a character sheet for those who like to immerse into their character and maybe later on use it in some RPG plays. I will only highlight my own choices and TBR plans.

You can check out all the details available HERE

I am still filling up my character sheet and depending on how successful I am at the end of the challenge I will post it as a whole. For now here are some basic options I am using for my May TBR.

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga #6) by Lois MacMaster Bujold

When I first read this prompt I did not notice OR in it. While I did find some options for the hardcore prompt I decided to continue one of the book series I was reading the first time as well – Vorkosigan Saga series. Its a science fiction series with some powerful and relatable characters and so far I’ve loved it. Sadly I did not get far ahead with the series and I will use this opportunity to read more of it.

Last time I participated I was going for Light Side. This time I like prompts for the Dark Side more and will try to mix it up with some neutral options where it is possible. I have chosen maximum of five abilities mix of neutral and Dark side prompts.

1 & 2 – Drain Knowledge: Read a book over 600 pages. Counts as 2 ability prompts. (Dark Side)

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff

This one has been on my shelf since it came out last year and I was looking for an opportunity to start reading. The theme is complimentary dark to my character and the pull of the Dark side. It is quite chonky with 700+ pages. I got the hardcover with some black and white illustrations so it will be an actual feast of a book. I even have a friend I gifted a copy of the book and she is willing to read it at the same time. Because of the number of pages this one counts as two abilities and I think the “Drain Knowledge” ability is very thematic as well!

3 – Telekinesis: If Jedi, do a dark side ability prompt; if Sith, do a light side ability prompt. (Neutral)

Light Side Plant Surge: Read a book with nature on the cover

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Mellisa Bashardoust

I really liked this prompt on the Light side since it fitted a book I was meaning to read for a while now. The choice of a Dark side ability to kinda steal into the Light side prompt was perfect here! I am intrigued by the book and so far I like its a standalone. Again the theme is darkly thematic and fits with my idea of a Dark side character and “Telekinesis” is such a cool ability to have!

4 – Doppelganger: Do a re-read. (Neutral)

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I have the mass market paperback of the book in English and have read it more than once already. Recently, I got a Serbian translation of this book and because of the style of the translation I am excited to give it a try. These characters are very dear to me and this world is one of my favorites to come back to. Some of the first books in the series are my all time favorite books as well. Reading this translation will give me a new perspective on it which is a useful foundation when training in “Doppelganger” ability.

5 – Memory Walk: Read a book that came out 15+ years ago. (Dark Side)

Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan saga #7) by Lois MacMaster Bujold

As I mentioned before I will be catching up Vorkosigan saga more in May. This is the second out of three planned books of the series I will be reading in May! Published over 35 years ago this book definitely fits the prompt and is still one of the best space opera book series out there. I wish it were more popular because when it was first published it was very well received considering that some of the themes are relevant and popular today. Have I started training “Memory Walking” already just by going back at how much I like this book series? Maybe…

The choices for weapons/equipment are sparse, which naturally, means I want them all! Here are the choices of books for the prompts:

Lightsaber – Look at a color wheel. Read a book with the opposite of your favorite color

The Siege of Cadanla (Elfes#9) by Éric Corbeyran, Gwendal Lemercier (Artist), Diogo Saito (Cover Art), Christina Cox-De Ravel (Translator), DigiKore Studios (Colorist)

Without actually looking at the color wheel I first had to decide on my favorite color. Over the years my favorite color changed. Right now I have decided on violet and its opposite is yellow. I had books with orange covers ready but yellow was a bit more work. For this reason I decided to go back to one other graphic novel book series I did not read in a while – digital edition of a fantasy masterpeice Elfes. It has (so far) 35 parts and they tell an intricate story spanning different species and continents in a magical world. Each part has different authors mostly from France. Some stories are dark and gritty and some are less so. so far the character and world building has been elaborate. I think it is a good match for a Lightsaber prompt!

Blaster – Read a book in a different spot every time you pick it up to read it.

Anaïs Nin – Sur la mer des mensonges by Léonie Bischoff

Since I have decided to go all in on the equipment and partners I found a way to make it easier and give me a chance to finish reading everything by adding more graphic novel editions. I went and raided my local library and brought with me a pile of good options. This is one of the more serious one in topic at least. Also, since the prompt requires me to read in a different spot each time I might have easier time with something that reads faster since I am actually a slow reader! I always wanted to read something by Anais Nin and this might speed up my decision to finally give it a try. Hoping to have a blast with this one!

Space Ship – Read a book that has a vehicle on the cover.

Brothers in Arms (Miles Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois MacMaster Bujold

Third book from the Vorkosigan saga I decided to put in for May! I remember I enjoyed them and the pace of reading was faster because of it. Space opera themes with political conflicts and lots of scheming promise a good backdrop for my Dark Side path, also the spaceship on the cover gives me ideas on what kind of ship I would like as my own.

As a Dark side trainee I get the options for all Dark Side partners and the Neutral ones. I was ambitious enough to put them all in for prompts so here are my book choices for those:

Bounty Hunters – Read a book that’s recently caught your attention.

King of Libertines (Sea of Ruin #0.5) by Pam Godwin

When the BD was closing down and I was culling my wishlists to make the last order Sea of Ruin was one of the books that almost made my list. I’ve never read anything by Pam Godwin and the marketing intro for the book promised sea adventure with steamy love triangle. The book was only available in paperback and it cost as much as a hardcover and that’s why id did not make the cut on the last order. But then I learned of this novella as a small prequel to the book exists! I almost ordered that one and at the last minute I saw that it was free on Kindle! I got it on Kindle and it will be probably the only book I will be reading in the digital form for a while. Depending on how much I like the writing style I might try getting the Sea of Ruin as well later on. Pirates work for their bounty as well!

Droids – Read a book with no people on the cover.

Ar-Men. L’Enfer des enfers by Emmanuel Lepage

This is one of the graphic novel picks I got from the library. There are no people on the cover, only churning sea and a Lighthouse. I don’t know what to expect from this one to be honestly. This month I was reading a book set on the English island Guernsey and I got intrigued to learn a bit more on English another English island since I am very bad at geography in general. Looking forward to a learning experience with this one!

Galactic Empire – Read a book with over 3 people on the cover.

Les Vieux Fourneaux (#1-4) by Wilfrid Lupano and Paul Cauuet

As opposed to the last prompt I needed to find a book with over 3 people on the cover which turned out to be much harder than it sounds. After scouring trough my own book shelves and my Kindle options I was not happy. My own bookshelves were not helpful and all my digital options were smut with extra bang! This is where the inspiration to check out library for graphic novel options came from! This is a story about three old friends and the title of it translates into: The Old Farts! I hope for some laughs from this one 🙂

First Order – Read a book with a prologue

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhause #13) by Charlaine Harris

I decided to read the last book in the Sookie Stackhouse series because I’ve had it for a very long time now and I am one book away from finishing a series. I am glad this book has a prologue since it has been years since I’ve read any of the books in the series, maybe even a decade…I’m too scared to check at this point. I remember liking it though. I am working on my book series backlog and honestly I didn’t know it was this bad!

I decided to stick with a story that I am not choosing to be a villain, I am only choosing to have an option to use the Dark side if necessary. Is my character a villain in the making? Possibly…

Goodbye, Book Depository!

Few weeks ago I noticed something strange with my Book Depository account. I have a separate wishlist on BD for books I am thinking about preordering and I love seeing how long I have until the book I want comes out. The numbers that count down the days until the book is available give me a sense of peace that everything is going on schedule.

Most importantly, for someone who lives in a small non English speaking country, this was a way to be up to date with what’s new. None of the bookstores in my small hometown have books in English for sale and my only option is to drive at least an hour to another (even smaller!) city to browse and shop for books in English or order them online.

Being up to date with books in the first week as they come out is actually something unusually rare!

So these small countdowns on the book I was interested in really meant a lot…

Few weeks ago all those “days until book becomes available to order” disappeared and the status of all my books on the preorder wishlist became; CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE.

That was my first cue of the impending doom 😦

A week after that, there came the announcement that the Book Depository was shutting down.

Many will call this the end of an era and rightfully so. The only global online store with “free shipping worldwide” closing down will impact many that live in remote areas and where shipping something is a great financial burden and logistical mess. Lots of us who live in non English speaking countries will be jumping trough hoops in search of ways to keep up and keep track with books that come out.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are other options and other online bookstores out there, BUT it will take time to explore all the options, calculate the shipping and possible customs costs and all those things I felt safe not to think about until recently. Free shipping is almost never included and the customs issue is quite unpredictable where I live.

Another thing to look upon is the variety of books offered…most bookstores offer only the latest edition and don’t stockpile big amounts of books due to the economy of our times. Sometimes even all the goodwill and money you have will not mean that the seller is willing to ship your order to your country.

I am considering the tourist option: visiting cities only to visit their bookstores and buy the books I want. Already have some trips planned across Europe but I am not expecting to find most of the books from my current wishlist. I am picky and specific with the editions I want and it makes me sad that finding a book in hardcover is harder that it needs to be.

And if I sound like a spoiled entitled brat so be it. I’ve actually grown very poor and never had a chance to enjoy many of the things I indulge in today. I decided to make one last order form BD as my way of saying “Goodbye!”.

It was not easy to trim down all my wishlists and make one order, I even found out that there is a limit on the cost of the order total for EU: its 150,00€! I consider it a win that I made only one order under 150,00€

I had to think carefully what books I wanted to include and most of what I wanted was in hardcover because softcover were easier to find. And if I really liked the book and wanted to read it more than once I would prefer it to be hardcover. Also I needed to consider that some books are going to be harder to find – checked out other online bookstores to compare prices and availability. Also there were some books on my wishlists that were offered at a discount that was to good to pass. I managed to squeeze in nine books into that tight budget amount. At the time of me writing this my order is still being processed and none of the books have been sent my way – even though it has been a few days since I made the order and payed for it in full.

Hopefully none of the books in the order will be canceled and refunded ( this has happened before and it is a sad affair)

Let me share with you this last BD book haul and try to make this gloomy post into something more uplifting!

All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1 ) by Adalyn Grace

All the Tides of Fate ( All the Stars and Teeth #2 ) by Adalyn Grace

Booth books are in hardcover and the first one was slightly discounted. I was looking for a duology with cool covers to include in my future reading challenges. Also I don’t have any prate themed books!

The Iron Knight Special Edition (The Iron Fey #4 ) by Julie Kagawa

This is a fourth book in the series, first three I’ve gotten as a birthday present from my bookish friends group, they have decided to gift me the next three as another birthday present for this year as well! These are all paperback editions but the covers are lovely and much prettier than editions before this one. It is actually and older YA fantasy with fey that I was interested for years back but never gotten to read it.

Daughter of Darkness (House of Shadows 1) by Katherine Corr and Elizabeth Corr

Lately I’ve been looking into more books with characters based on mythology. This book caught my attention quickly. The cover is beautiful and I feel like it will be great for my mood reading.

Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier

Another hardcover edition that was slightly on discount. I love the idea of a standalone historical fantasy and I wish to read more of them.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

I am not going to lie I was drawn by the pretty cover, stuck by because of the mythology theme and finally got it since the price was 30% discounted on it!

Scarred (Never After #2 ) by Emily McIntire

This one was a last minute pick while I was trying to trim the price down to budget limit. I wanted something dark and smuty. The edition is paperback and I decided to ignore the fact that this book is second in a series- it says all books can be read separately and the first book has an unappealing cover…

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1 ) by Victoria Schwab

It took me three tries and two refunds, months of looking out on availability to finally get the collectors hardback of another book of this author so when I found this edition on a nice discount I had to buy it – urban fantasy theme is a bonus and I think I will like this one a lot!

Under a Winter Sky : a Midwinter Holiday Anthology

I love short story collection and I love sampling new authors in this way. I knew I wanted this collection when I first saw it a while back. It was never a priority to buy and now I picked it up in fear of not being able to find it later. Sadly it is paperback edition but I do love the cover art.

Hope you find your own reasons to enjoy life and smile 🙂

Orilium Spring Equinox ’23 Magical Readathon TBR

After a careful and long debate with myself I have decided to choose my first calling and enroll into some classes at the Orilium Academy as a Novice! Last year when I was looking at maybe participating I was drawn to Demonologist calling but after some more checking up on other choices I decided to go with Necromancer calling – I may or may have not been influence by the first book I’ve chosen to read this month and as a start of the readathon which is a series with a necromancer main character!

Necromancer calling has a bit longer list of prompts than the Demonologist and I am now on eight books that I need to read in April in order to pass my Necromancer Novice exam. Some of the prompts were easy for me and some I got lucky on which makes me very excited and I have already started on my first book!

Each year the types of classes are the same but the syllabus prompts change depending on the focus of the course. Here is a list of the whole Syllabus with prompts for Spring Equinox 2023. From this list I only need the eight classes listed above and will use those prompts for my eight books.

Note: The recurring silver feather in the pictures is my try at keeping up with my guild theme The Archivists.

Shapeshifting – Form: Wolf

Read a book with wolf on the cover, in the title or as the author’s name.

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

This is one of the books that I got as a gift quite some time ago. It belongs to the pile I need to read and decide if I am keeping it or if it is going to be gifted on to someone else.

Animal Studies – Heads & Tails

Flip a coin and choose a book: Heads – non fiction ; Tails – fiction.

Biblioteka by Zoran Živković

Being a perfect klutz and deciding to use digital coin flip instead of the real thing I barely thought about what my choices would be if I needed to read non fiction book. This is the first book I grabbed since I was not sure is it fiction or not. I got it from a bookish friend with high recommendations and with just a browse I think I am going to love it as well!

Inscription – Glyph: Flight

Read a book from your top (highest) shelf.

Smolder (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 29.) by Laurell K. Hamilton

My top leftmost shelf is all books by Laurell K. Hamilton. Most are Anita Blake and Merry Gentry book series with few short story collections she was in. All the other books I own on that shelf are mass market paperback but this is the only hardcover I bought and I am still trying to decide how to rearrange that top shelf now with this addition. The book is fairly new and it came out just a few weeks ago. Until I make up my mind on how to store the new book I decided to read it first and it has kinda influenced my choice of calling to Necromancer!

Spells & Incantations – Spell : Magic Missiles

Read a book with 389 – 415 pages length.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Croatian edition)

I thought this one is going the be a tough prompt to fill in since last time I was looking for a 500+ pages long book I got frustrated by finding whole shelves of my unread books with just 20 – 50 pages less than that. I even got two options in and decided to go with Uprooted in Croatian edition which is exactly 397 pages long! This book I plan to read second in April since Vivone will be reading it this month too so we can have an impromptu meeting just to discuss it right after reading and all impressions are still fresh!

Conjuration – Spirit Binding Spells

Read a book recommended by a friend!

The Word for World Is Forest ( Hainish Cycle Series ) by Ursula Le Guin

This one has been recommended for our Buddy readathon by Vivone. I have never read Ursula Le Guin and this would probably not be my first choice to start with. Hope its is going to be good!

Restoration – Oculi Curses

Shuffle some books and choose without looking ( I made a pile of five books and left the room for my SO to pick one).

Le Diable amoureux by Jacques Cazotte

The description of the prompt said to close eyes and point one book at random. Since I did not trust myself to recognize the books anyway I decided to not look at the choice being made for me by my SO. The books I picked for my side shelf and I consider them all not likely to be picked up on my own any time soon. I ended up with the book I’ve gotten from a library sale some seven (!) years ago!

Lore – The Legend of Dia

Read a book with a map.

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

I am often angry at Croatian publishers since they rarely put care and thought into additional contents like maps in the books anymore (this problem is so serious that some don’t even bother with hardcover editions for books with 800+ pages and this will have a deserving rant in it’s own post some other time). Imagine my surprise when I saw a library description that this book has a map! I had to go to the library the next day and take a picture and also include it into this reading challenge!

Demonology – Type: Impersonators

Read a book that can be compared to your favorites.

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J. D. Robb

Both books have a strong female investigator who is used to do things on her own and who starts out as a loner . They are a start of a long series (57 and 30 books respectively!) and the romance/erotic themes can be found in both as well.

These are my eight prompts and chosen books. With those I plan to finish up my second conduit prompt for a book with a bone on the cover with the Hellboy in Hell by Mike Mignola. All in all it will be a big jump in number of books to read in a month for this year. I am tackling this reading challenge with all the enthusiasm I could find and hope for the best!

Wish me luck!