Bookopoly TBR 2021 – October

In October I am back to my usual Bookopoly TBR game with my own board to play with. September was educational in learning the difference between the prompts I use and those Becca decided to prepare for everyone joining in the Bookoplathon. You can check out my thoughts and experience on it HERE. I continued with the rolls where I left off back in August and even added one penalty roll for a book from September.

For October Bookopoly I am using a standee from the board game Forgotten Waters. Forgotten Waters is a game by Plaid Hat Games publisher and this piratey adventure has been one of my gaming groups favorites since we got it this summer!

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in October:

Prompt: Highest Rated

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

My first roll looked promising and landed on a Highest Rated prompt. I had few options for this prompt but ended adding the graphic novel because this is one of the books I wanted to read way back in 2020. and somehow missed it altogether. As an added bonus I am hoping to put some balm on my TBR for October since I started working on a new job recently and I have yet to manage my time better to fit in more reading time.

Prompt: Ex Yu Author

Book: Jebo sad hiljadu dinara by Boris Dežulović

My second roll got me an interesting prompt I decided to add to the board in the last revision because I wanted to read more authors from my own country. I decided to broaden the scope to all authors from the ex Yugoslavia region. I decided on a book I have been interested for a few years now. It is an older book from 2005. by a Croatian journalist and has Catch 22 vibes. It is fairly short and I like that too!

Prompt: Light cover

Book: Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton et al

My third roll was a double – 2+ 2! The prompt was Light Cover and I decided to use it to read one of the older urban fantasy short story collections I have on my shelf and have not read yet. Most of the authors are already known to me and I expect to like it!

Prompt: Other Culture

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

Fourth roll was an interesting prompt – Other Culture. I scoured my own shelves in search for something and then I remembered a book I was meaning to read and trying to get my book club friends to read as well. It is a book I was looking at for years now and I hope to push it for a book club assignment some day, I will keep trying!

Prompt: Chance Card

Book: Bajki robotów by Stanisław Lem

My fifth roll made me use my new Chance Card list since I used up all cards I had prepared last year! Sure some of those I ended up reading for other reading challenges and was left with having to make a new list and cards to shuffle and play with! The first book I pulled from it was a short story collection with theme of robots written by Polish author back in 1964.

Prompt: Science Fiction

Book: Alien ( Alien Movie Novelizations #1 ) by Alan Dean Foster

And my sixth roll was another double which added another roll after this one. The prompt was rather easy and I decided to use this opportunity to add another book from my buddy reading list. I am not sure how I feel about this movie novelization and the horror theme. I hope it wont get too scary for me.

Prompt: Most Recent Purchase

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

For this prompt I want to use the book I was expecting to arrive at the start of September and I really want it to arrive in time for October at least. Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff is one of the books that caught my attention one year ago when it was first announced. I never read anything by this author and from what I understand this book just might be my kind of vampire story! I really hope I will like it!

Prompt: Small Book

Book: Stoner by John Williams

This last roll was added as a penalty from September. I used this last prompt to add a book that is my book club assignment for October. For some reason many of my friends who like to read, liked this book and I want to see what the hype is about! I have no expectations on it and it seems like a “slice of life” with extra lemon zest – I guess sometimes I am into moody dramas. We will see 🙂

I might have overdone myself with eight books here because of the new life related conditions and this month Bookopoly will be the only reading challenge I will be doing in October. I had plans for more and I even made lists but If I find the time to actually write about them by the end of the first week of October I might even take them on. For now I will just follow my bookish friends in their many October reading challenges and cheer them on in their bookish endeavors!

How do you like my reading pile for Bookopoly October? Do you plan diversity in your TBR or it doesn’t even play role in your book choices?

Becca’s Bookopoly – Bookoplathon September 2021 – Experience and thoughts

This September my reading buddy and I decided to both join in on Bookoplathon September reading challenge by using Becca’s Bookoplathon board instead of our usual Bookopoly board that was based on Becca’s but modified for our reading needs and goals trough this last year. We got the idea last year and carried it on by ourselves and when the opportunity to once again join Becca’s reading challenge came along we were all in. I must say I was impressed with the prompts across the board being well thought out and gave readers freedom in picking out books in a way that not many other reading challenges do. You should check out Becca’s YouTube channel HERE and give her some love because she really deserves it! You can also check out the original post where I picked out my books HERE.

I had six rolls total and six books to read since one roll was a double and added one extra roll and book with the usual five that were the base on my start.

Here is how my prompts and my reading experience went:

Prompt: Gods

Book: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry

My first roll got me a book I did not finish by the end of the month. Mythos was not what I expected and truth be told I did not think much about what to expect when I bought this book. If I thought logically I would have been more aware of this book being a retelling of Greek mythology by a British comedian. I was reading a lovely luxury edition translated to Croatian and I felt the bumps and hurdles in what was probably originally created to be witty and humorous commentary on Greek mythology. I found out the hard way that I hoped for something more informative and educational and while I certainly got that; I also got silly observations and bland comedic comments that lost the amusing bits somewhere in translation. I really wanted to like this book and the final product was a very slow reading progress and gradually growing disinterest. I don’t feel compelled to pick up the book to enjoy reading and only goal in mind I have is to get it out of my reading schedule. I will finish it eventually but it will take longer than I anticipated. I decided to count it as reading in progress an not apply any penalty reading in October since I read over one third of it and plan to finish it anyway… Sad and disappointed 😦

Prompt: Mood Read

Book: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning

When I first rolled my dice and got the “Mood Read” prompt I was pleased. Then I got really undecided on what to pick since I wanted to pick something that can crossover with the second reading challenge I had going on for September and something I thought I would enjoy. Urban fantasy has been my go to genre and a safety blanket for almost a decade so this book seemed like a good choice. My only explanation is that over the years I might have started to be a lot more judgy for my favorite genre. Also, I guess I like a little bit more direction in my reading prompts. I was too easily annoyed with the main character and while this book had some good points the end just kicked down the whole series from my future TBR. I’m glad I gave it a try and I would have tried giving this book series another try with the sequel, but I just could not digest that last chapter in which nothing made sense to me. And I had a chat with a friend where we could not help but comment on how ugly and poorly designed this book cover really is. I mean really the main character doesn’t even have blue eyes and it shows how little the publisher thought about this book 😦

Prompt: Current News / Events

Book: Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra

I was dreading reading this book. My reading buddy is really into these middle eastern real life story retellings and I just need a bit more hope and magic in my books. I knew that the harsh reality of this book will be something that will make me cry. I expected the worst and I might have softened the blow the story would have had on me if I was less prepared. I tend to cry and get really depressed when reading these types of books and I am a low energy person that can’t really afford to waste it on a book that will traumatize me for weeks. Because that’s how long some sad and horrific books stay with me sometimes. I am glad this book was short and that I chose it for the first book to read in September because I had other books to occupy my mind and not dwell on it too much.

Prompt: Opulent

Book: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

I had another book in mind for this prompt: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff. Sadly that book has yet to arrive even though I preordered it back in August. I was ready to read this 700+ pages vampire book and love it. The replacement book was a little less opulent but the vivid blue streaked with gold details on the cover got my attention instead. This was not a random pick since it was a part of duology with Strange the Dreamer I planned to read this September as well. I liked the book more than I thought I would and got an extra kick from reading both of the books in the same month!

Prompt: Poll Pick

Book: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

First book in the Strange the Dreamer duology and a part of the buddy reading project. I was not sure if I would like this book but the main character was endearing in his practicality and love of books. I can even describe this book as a dreamy bookish adventure. This book was from the library and I think the blue and orange on the cover really look good. I am glad to have finally read this book and I can totally see why people love it. On the poll I created all of my bookish friends voted for me to read it!

Prompt: Chance card

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

My sixth prompt and the last book I started reading this September is The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice. I remember the first book Interview with the Vampire as a bookish trauma of sorts. I could not get into it and kept confusing the book with the movie that I used to watch often and loved it every time. I was so apprehensive about reading this book that I did not even start it until the last day of September and knowing I will not be finishing it in time for the challenge. Once I started reading it I wanted to scream at myself because it pulled me in from the first sentence! I loved reading Lestat perspective and finding out more about his past! I find myself wanting to read it all the time and adore how engaging this book is for me. I think I need to count this one for the penalty in October since I did not manage to read it and sabotaged myself this way. For my penalty I will be adding one more roll for October for my usual Bookopoly reading challenge!

My thoughts on my experience in Bookoplathon September 2021

First let me share some stats about the books I have read. This is a first Bookopoly book pile that has same number of books from the library as from my own shelves. All but one book was in Croatian language. Total number of pages I was supposed to read was 2242 instead I read 1321 which is almost one thousand pages less in just two books difference.

I was super impressed with the prompts and because I consider the Bookopoly board I use for my usual monthly reading challenge a work in progress I might take some inspiration on simple prompts that offer a wide range of books to fulfill them. I am glad to have participated even though I am not that happy with how I did. From six books I planned to read for the challenge only four I actually read. I plan to finish those that I have leftover but this brings the number of books I have for reading in progress up to three and makes me feel really bad about tagging books along from month to month. I will enjoy finishing at least one of these soon enough but it might reflect bad on my reading in October and I might even have to slow down. Another reason I loved participating in Becca’s reading challenge is because I find her content entertaining and her ideas inspiring. Thank you Becca 🙂

Becca’s Bookopoly – Bookoplathon September 2021

In September there are many wonderful reading challenges to choose from and unless I find a doorway to a secret dimension where time flows slower and spent equal amount of time in it as in this one! Sadly I am still on the lookout for that kind of doorway. Until I find it I have made a selection of reading challenges I will be participating in and Becca’s Bookopoly is something I simply can’t miss since she inspired me to make my own Bookopoly board and then work on it and modify it for the last year! This September all who are interested are given the chance to play together on a special Bookopoly board that is designed to include options for many different types of readers.

You can check out Becca’s channel Becca and the Books HERE and her own throwdown for the Bookoplathon HERE – Warning: the dice have not gone easy on her and it was a blast! Thank you Becca! Love your content and hope you read all the books you set for yourself in September!

I printed out the board for this on a normal A4 size paper on my home printer and it turned out rather small so I had to improvise the figure to represent me on the board. The figure I use is from a board game I own called Tang Garden. It is a cool looking board game we backed on Kickstarter few years back. For more info on the game you can check out HERE. The figure is painted by my boyfriend and I love the colors used.

I will be making another post on my August Bookopoly results later this week. This Bookoplathon is going to be instead of my own usual Bookopoly board play and those will continue as normal in October. The dice favored me better than they did Becca and while I also had a double roll it was not multiple times!

Here are my Bookoplathon rolls for September:

Prompt: Gods

Book: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry

My first roll looked very promising and gave me rather unusual prompt for a book with Gods of some kind. Since I was looking for an excuse to finally take on one of the books I already have a sequel waiting I was happy to pick out at Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry. This edition is a one of the highly sought out for in Croatian since it is a limited edition that is printed out in only 500 numbered copies with luxury treatment. Each luxury book from this publisher is later published in normal paperback edition but the first numbered edition is quickly sold out and reaches high prices at reseller markets. I used to be crazy about them like many others but have soon decided to stick to the books I am really interested in. I love mythology and hope to have a five star book on my hands here!

Prompt: Mood Read

Book: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning

My second roll was a double! Both dices showed two and the sum was four which landed me on Mood Read spot. At first it was cool but later while trying to choose books for all the prompts I realized I like a bit more guidance. Mood Read is cool but how do you choose a book for mood reading in advance? How do I know what will I be in the mood for reading of? And I can’t make plans for mood reading at the beginning of the month like that. so you might understand my frustration on this roll. In the end I picked out a bunch of books I was thinking about reading, some for other reading challenge some for other prompts and take what was left for this one. I ended up with a book I have been interested in reading for over a decade: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning. I even have and edition in Croatian on my shelf! It is an urban fantasy with a prominent female lead that I usually love. Technically I am always in the mood for some good urban fantasy!

Prompt: Current News / Events

Book: Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra

Third roll was a sum of seven and got me Current News / Events. I tried to fight the onslaught of current news about Kabul and the conflicts in the world. I even had a few interesting options with the not so long ago commercial flights to space and some feel good and less popular news about repopulation of some endangered species in Australia but finding a book on those was a chore. I could not find a close enough book about travelling to space to count it for the prompt and I was not in the mood for reading Richard Branson’s biography. Back to Afghanistan and Kabul it was… The English title of this book is The Swallows of Kabul and my Croatian edition is titled Kabulske lastavice. I am apprehensive just thinking about reading this book and will probably go and read it first just to be done with it before it breaks me since I am very easily influenced by stuff I read in books in general. And I don’t mean just the crying but I get cripplingly depressed and it makes hard for me to function in my daily life. If you have some jokes or funny memes pls send them my way I will need them…

Prompt: Opulent

Book: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff / Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

Roll number four was a low roll and sum four! I think Opulent is a really cool and doable prompt. This is the prompt I wanted to use for Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry but then I got excited and hyped and really optimistic about Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff that comes out in the first week of September. I preordered it and would love reading it if it gets here on time. I even thought about making sure I read all the other books before the last week of September so I can be ready to start reading this one as soon as it arrives! If my experience with last book I preordered has anything similar with this one I will probably get this book in October though… In the case that happens I decided to have a back up and my back up is a book with a cover I find pretty and spoiler for my next roll: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor. This way I might start and finish a series in September. Still hoping for my preorder to arrive!

Prompt: Poll Pick

Book: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

Second to last roll was another lower number and it landed me on a Poll Pick tile. The books I decided to offer for the poll were all from my Buddy reading list for 2021. I put the poll up on my book club Facebook group. And my fellow readers from the book club all voted for Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor. Other three options didn’t even get a single vote in the first few days the poll was up and it did not seem they would get any at all! So my book for this prompt is Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor. I got my book from the library and my library has a rule that if the book is part of the series up to five books you get all the books in the series as a set. This is how I ended up with both books in this duology and it might even seem I will be reading both of them this September!

Prompt: Chance card

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

My last extra roll was an eight and I got a Chance Card. For this month’s Bookoplathon I decided to use the Chance card I use normally for my Bookopoly each month. My deck of starting sixteen Chance cards was down to only one and it was The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice. I will be making a post on all the books that were in my Bookopoly Chance Card deck and making a new pile for next month. It has been a few years since I’ve read the Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice. It has been exactly four years since I finished reading it and it was a book I just could not get into. I kept mixing the movies and the book and it did not end well. I hope this book fares better.

Six books for Bookoplathon is a good number of books to read and while some of these book will be crossing over with the other reading challenges I will be doing in September (post on them soon) some are going to be adding up on my total number of books for September. Also this might be the first time to have all but one (two if Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff arrives in time for me to read it) books in Croatian! I only noticed this when taking the pictures. I hope to read all that I have planned and continue with Bookopoly as usual in October!

Bookopoly TBR 2021 – July review and August books

For my Bookopoly reading challenge in July I got two double rolls of the dice which meant I got to read two extra books! I was actually happy and excited for the extra books and the total books read for Bookopoly being seven. Post for Bookopoly July review is a little latter than usual since I was waiting on some books and had to pick up another form the library. July was a very satisfying and fun reading month. In fact I was so busy reading that my posts were scarce and even though I had few ideas planned for July I opted to read instead! This meant less posting but more reading and needles to say seven books read for Bookopoly was actually half of the all books I read in July. Yes, I am bragging about my fourteen books and that is how much pleased I am with the number!

Seven books I have read bring total of 1680 pages. Again I managed to squeeze in one book from a buddy reading challenge in here as well which is awesome! Six out of seven books were under 300 pages long which makes them all on the small books side. Only one book was in digital form and all the rest were from my own collection which is always a good thing! Three books were in Croatian language and four of them were in English. Two books were science fiction genre and two were graphic novels. Two of the books were specifically by Japanese authors.

The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan ★★★

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

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

Real World by Natsuo Kirino ★★★

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein ★★★

Elves: The Blue Elves’ Mission (Elfes #6) by Jean-Luc Istin, Kyko Duarte ★★★★★

Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper #1) by Alice Oseman ★★★★★

All the books I’ve read for Bookopoly in July were rated three stars or higher and a total average score is exactly four stars per book! Three star rated books usual flaw was the just plain bad translation to Croatian or in the case of the one three star rated book in English – not my typical genre of choice. For more info on the books that stood out an made an impression you can check out my July Book Wrap Up post HERE.

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in August:

Prompt: Random shelf Pick

Book: Lord Mord by Miloš Urban

My first roll for August were 3 + 6 summed 9 and landed me on a corner tile – Random Shelf Pick. I was thinking about this prompt and decided to modify it for the new board into TBR Jar Draw. It has been a while since I posted an update on it and I probably should do it this month. For this time I kept the random criteria by choosing five piles of five books I have not read from my shelves and making my boyfriend choose a pile and a reading buddy to choose a number from the chosen book pile. What I got is a book I almost forgotten about – Lord Mord by Miloš Urban. It is a Croatian translation of a Checz author about a Prague in the 19th century. The cover is intriguing. I have never been to Prague but I am always interested in Austro-Hungarian history from different perspectives. The main character seems a sort of anti-hero type and the mystery/thriller/crime genre combo is not my usual read. We will see how it goes!

Prompt: Dark Cover

Book: A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Second roll this month was a sum of six. This got me to a super easy prompt – Dark Cover. This prompt shows up relatively often and is quite easy to find a book for on my shelves. This might be the third time I am trying to give this book a chance and I still have high expectations from it. I hope to get to write a short book review on this collection this month as well.

Prompt: LGBTQ+

Book: Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell

This book finally arrived! I was hoping to include it in last moth Olympic games as a bonus read but I am still glad it is here. My third roll landed on a LGBTQ+ prompt and this one seemed a perfect fit (like I wouldn’t find an excuse to include it right away!). I love reading about Baz and Simon and the last book ended on a cliffhanger which makes me even more eager to read this one! I was a little surprised at how chunky this one is: it’s almost 600 pages! I am torn between wanting to read trough it fast and happy it is so big so I can enjoy it longer. Hope it is good as I want it to be!

Prompt: Adult

Book: First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylok) by Amy Harmon

The fourth roll was a five and it landed me on an Adult tile of the board. This prompt can be somewhat confusing sometimes. Adult fiction is a lot broader in scope and I am never sure when it comes to the scope of audience for some books. I’m going by the Goodreads classification on this one. I have not read any books by Amy Harmon and some that are translated into Croatian seem interesting. I was drawn into this one because of the almost Nordic mythology theme. Let us hope the translation is good.

Prompt: Standalone

Book: Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny

My fifth roll was a double which means I will be adding one more book. The roll was a four and it got me to a Standalone prompt. This was actually harder prompt to find a book for on my shelves. I am always into many different book series and sometimes standalone books need more to draw me in. I picked a book from my Buddy reading list for this year. I have many friends that simply love this author and I have a few books by him on my shelves already but this one in particular is from the library. I am not sure what to expect from it.

Prompt: Favorite Author

Book: Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs

My bonus roll and the last roll for August was a seven and got me another corner tile and prompt Favorite Author. Last book I was reading from another favorite author left me with mixed feelings and I wanted to jump to an author that has not let me down. There are lots of things I love about the books written by Patricia Briggs: interesting characters, beautiful covers, mythical background of the plot and a coolest heroine ever! (just to name a few) I am always crazy after reading one of books by Patricia Briggs because they come out once a year and waiting for the next one can be such a chore! I am hoping to love this book.

I must say I love how my August Bookopoly reading pile looks like! Not sure if having such high expectations from all of the books here is a good thing or not though…

What do you think?

July Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – July 2021

This July I have read:

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

Kako ste? by Barbara Matejčić  ★★★★

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

The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan ★★★

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller ★★★★

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

Real World by Natsuo Kirino ★★★

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein ★★★

Elves: The Blue Elves’ Mission (Elfes #6) by Jean-Luc Istin, Kyko Duarte ★★★★★

Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper #1) by Alice Oseman ★★★★★

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers ★★★★

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

Danse Macabre (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #14) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

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

This July I have outdone myself and read an amazing 14 books! I am actually surprised at the amount and the variety of genres and books that have been on my TBR for a quite a long time as well as some relatively new books for me.

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

Books I most enjoyed reading this month were from the Murderbot Diaries book series: Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol . Usually I have some issues with reading science fiction books and following up with all the technical parts of the story but these are so easy to get into and I really love them!

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

There were few books that were a let down this month and some were even a source of frustration. Time Weaver was the last book in the Drakon series and The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Time Weaver was a messy ending to a book series that had me interested because of the unique dragon shapeshifter angle. Of this five book series each book I read was either a let down or really good and as a whole the series was a wild ride with high highs and low lows. The Strain belongs to a horror genre that I am not a big fan of. I had some serious issues with the translated edition and the general feeling was not good. The Strain is one series I will not be continuing.

I am glad that have read them and can move on from these.

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

For July I made plans for Bookopoly and Olympic Games reading challenge. I managed to read all the books for Bookopoly and all but one for the Olympic Games challenge. The only book I wanted to read and did not managed to read was Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell because my preorder has not arrived yet. I am hoping to get it in time for some reading challenges in August!

Actually all the fourteen books I have read in July were a part of reading challenges!

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

I have finished one book series and made a decision not to continue another – so that’s two book series cleared in July. I started one new graphic novel series I am very much enjoying. Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series second reading is moving along and I’ve finished book fourteen out of current 28. which makes me halfway trough! I managed to read two books in the Murderbot Diaries series and can’t wait to for an opportunity to read the next book! July was a very good month for reading book series!

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

This is a second month in the row that I am blown away with Martha Wells’s Murderbot Diaries book series and my whole outlook on science fiction is changing because of it. I love the short format, the artwork and the lovable main character. The main character has proven to be surprisingly insightful on everything about what it means to be human. So much story and emotion packed in less than 200 pages per book made these books best I have read this year so far and I hope the next books are at least as good!

Final thoughts on July 2021 reading

I have been working on making up for those spring months when I got a reading slump and I am still behind on my plans to read 100 books in a year. I am proud of how many books I have read this July and I have managed to cut the amount of books I needed to catch up by half!

In the fourteen books I have read 3656 pages. There were a lot of the genres I am not usually drawn to in July and four of the books were science fiction which is starting to be on my TBR more often recently. Only two of the books were graphic novels and only one book was over 500 pages long. Nine books I have read in July were under 300 pages.

I find this shorter format motivating and very satisfying.

Bookopoly TBR 2021 – June review and July books

June was a cool Bookopoly reading month with only five books. I have participated in one other reading challenge in June and filled up my reading list that way. Because when I say “reading challenge” I need more than just five books in a month to make it challenging!

In the five books I’ve chosen to read I’ve read 1542 pages. One of the books in my Bookopoly readathon for June was a part of a Buddy reading project and one was a book club pick for June. Four of the books were the books I own and were physical copies from my own shelf. One book was a book from the library. Last book I’ve read for this reading challenge was finished reading few days in July but I’m still counting it! Here is the list of the books I’ve read for my Bookopoly in June and how I rated them in short:

Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins ★★★★★

Mogla je biti prosta priča by Ajla Terzić ★★★★

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

I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider ★★★★★

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

All the books I’ve read for my June Bookopoly were good or great and none I’ve rated with less than four out of five stars. In fact most of the books I’ve read in June were the same with the sole exception of one book I DNFed. For more details on them all you can check my June reading review HERE.

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in July:

Prompt: Science Fiction

Book: Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

My first roll for July was a meager four and landed me on Science fiction tile for the very first time! I loved reading the first part of Murderbot Diaries and jumped at the chance to read the second book. This series is fairly new in general and I got the box set of first four books as one of my latest purchases. I will try to update and make a post on the books I got recently by the end of July! At this rate I will be ordering more Murderbot books very soon! Also I am not very happy with how the tile for Science Fiction came out and I am thinking of redesigning the Bookopoly board again!

Prompt: Last Chance

Book: The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

My second roll for the month and I got a double six. What this means is I will be adding one more extra roll for the July. This landed me on a Last Chance spot for the first time as well! I actually pulled this book at random for the Olympic Games readathon this month and I decided to use it for this prompt since I am thinking on culling it from the collection. The edition is said to be bad because of the translation and it is a cheap paperback with not a very inviting cover. The other two books in trilogy were never translated and probably never will be since the publisher no longer exists and the book did not attract that much positive reader attention to be picked up by any other publisher.

Prompt: Chance Card

Book: Antologija suvremene japanske novele by Kazuo Tanaka (Editor)

My third roll was another low number – three in total! This landed me on one of the most popular prompts on the board but to be fair there are two of these across the board – Chance Card. This is another one of the books from my own bookshelves I bought a few years back at a library sale. The translated title would be Contemporary Japanese novella anthology. This book has been published in the late nineties and it was not something that can be easily found which is the reason it caught my attention. If it is to believed to the GR entry for it, there is no translated edition for it which makes it original and unique. I took a peek at the rest of the Chance Cards I have left and there is only three of them. Out of those, two have been chosen for some other prompts in July which leaves me with only one left for some other roll of the die. I need to make another set of cards for next month!

Prompt: Other Culture

Book: Real World by Natsuo Kirino

Next roll was six and landed me on Other Culture tile. Since I prioritize all my books to check my own bookshelves first I got this little book I had for years. As it turns out I will be reading two books on Japanese culture and by Japanese authors for Bookopoly this month! I am slowly running out of appropriate books for this prompt and will have to soon turn to library for them or investigate and buy some interesting new ones!

Prompt: First in a series

Book: Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper #1) by Alice Oseman

Fifth roll was another double and got me an exciting prompt “First in a series”. Since I will be adding at least two extra rolls for July I decided to finally read a graphic novel I only recently got and one that is still very praised and popular. The more I learned about this graphic novel I liked it more. I just hope I will enjoy reading it too!

Prompt: Gifted

Book: Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

First extra roll for July landed me on a “Gifted” tile for second time ever. First time I got this prompt was last month. I am running out of books I’ve been gifted and I did not read on my bookshelves. This book was given to my by a friend when I helped him sort out books he wanted to sell and get rid off. This is an older paperback edition that is out of print in Croatian. I loved the movie and I wanted to read it for years now! Also this one is a part of my Buddy reading project for this year and it will be good for me to get some progress on that.

Prompt: Graphic novel / Manga

Book: Elves: The Blue Elves’ Mission (Elfes #6) by Jean-Luc Istin, Kyko Duarte

On my last roll for July I got another low number – three! This moved me to Graphic Novel / Manga spot. In June I was reminded how much I enjoy reading the graphic novel Elfes series and decided to continue reading it in July as well. These are short and beautiful. I love how they look and the fantastic stories they bring.

This is my handsome pile of Bookopoly picks for July. There are books I am really looking forward to reading here and there are some I am less excited about.

What do you think?

Bookopoly TBR 2021 – May review and June books

May Bookopoly TBR gave me six interesting books to read and I managed to read them all in time. Two of those books were excellent and I truly enjoyed reading them. One book was great and the reading experience could have been better and the other three were good to okay because I had certain issues with the reading experience and my own expectations. Here is the complete list of the books I read because of Bookopoly TBR game in May. Five of the books were from my own bookshelves and one was from the library due to the prompt requirement. Only two of the books were in English language and four were in Croatian language which is a rare thing for me! One books was nonfiction the rest were all fiction with some type of fantastic elements to them. Genres and audience varied from children’s books to full adult! Total number of pages read in these six books is 1679 pages!

1. Prompt: Dark Cover

Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

2. Prompt: Disability representation

Book: The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★

3. Prompt: Adult

Book: Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole ★★★★

4. Prompt: Go to the Library

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

5. Prompt: Friend Pick

Book: Clockwork or all wound up by Philip Pullman, Zdenko Bašić (Illustrator) ★★★

6. Prompt: Random Shelf Pick

Book: Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić ★★★

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in June:

Prompt: Chance card

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

My first roll for June got me a seven and landed me on Chance spot. I am slowly running out of my Chance card titles and have decided to clear them all out before adding the new set of sixteen book titles from my shelves. For some reason this used to be a very common prompt on the old version of my Bookopoly board. The Hedge Knight: The Tales of Dunk and Egg by George R.R. Martin is a Croatian edition that collects all parts of a story set in Westeros and around a century (?) before the events of The Game of Thrones book. My expectation is to be a little less clueless about the book and the world it belongs to. Also, it is another book from my bookshelf to read!

Prompt: TBR Game

Book:  Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

Second roll gave me a book that got pulled out of my TBR reading games few times before but due to its length it kept missing the cut. This time I used the mechanics of the Flip the Page Challenge. You can check out the original YouTube Challenge video by Jesse the Reader HERE and give him some love and attantion! A friend gave me random coordinates from the parameters of my bookshelves and I got: Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins. The first part of this eighties Jackie Collins chick lit with elements of crime thriller and erotic novel I have read way back in high school and have even written about it. You can check my thoughts from way back in 2016. on it HERE. This book is also on my currently paused TBR Jar Draw. I don’t know how to feel about revisiting this book series…

Prompt: LGBTQ+

Book: Mogla je biti prosta priča by Ajla Terzić

Third roll for June was 4 and landed me on LGBTQ+ tile of the board. By chance of luck this prompt was perfect for my June book club pick by Bosnian author Ajla Terzić. Balkans in general are a hard place to live in no matter ones sexual orientation or preference; but this topic put into this geographical context intrigues me and scares me at the same time. I have one week to read this book and it just might be the first book I will read in June! This book is also available in English by the title This Could Have Been a Simple Story if anyone is interested in it 🙂

Prompt: First in a series

Book: The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Another roll of seven and I got a prompt that was the most difficult for me to choose a book for this time. I had few options for choosing a first book of the series. In the end I decided to pick another book from my own shelves and one that is also a part of my buddy reading list for the whole year. Buddy reading list I am currently seriously slacking and am behind on! Reading the first/prequel book for the Witcher series might be a good idea right now because I had just enough time between the first season of the TV show and the announced second season! I expect to like this book!

Prompt: Gifted

Book: I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider

The last stroll of my little polar bear across the board was to a spot with the Gifted prompt. I was actually reminded that it might be a great time to read this book. I love taking pictures of it and I love showing it to my bookish friends. Because of this I already have a few people interested in borrowing it to read. I don’t like borrowing books I have not read first and it just might be time for this book!

Wish me luck with this small but eclectic pile of books!

Bookopoly TBR – May

Spring was never my favorite time of the year. It always seem to catch me unprepared and I had to take some time off from reading and books in general. My mind kept wandering and I had to clear my head a bit. I was still reading some books but in a much slower and kinda chaotic pace. I will make a separate post on the books I have been reading in March and April later. I decided to make a fresh start with Bookopoly in May.

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in May:

Prompt: Dark Cover

Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Fresh start and a first roll got me a seven and a Dark Cover prompt! I was looking for something from my shelves and then I remembered I have Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling as a book club assignment for May and it clicked! I read this book just last year for the first time but I am so very happy with my Hufflepuff House Edition books that I am glad to have a reason to read trough my very own copy one more time! The first time was magical and I hope I can get more observant the second time!

Prompt: Disability representation

Book: The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold

Second roll landed my polar bear marker on a Disability representation space. I searched high and low on my TBR on Goodreads and my own shelves and I had something completely different in mind for this prompt. In the end I decided to to with something I always enjoyed reading – Vorkosigan saga book! I have a whole shelf of them and they never disappoint! I picked up the next book in chronological order: The Vor Game. Miles is one of the most inspiring characters I have ever read and I could use some of his strenght right now!

Prompt: Adult

Book: Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #17) by Kresley Cole

Third roll was an eight and got me one of the prompt what gives the most freedom to choose a book from my shelves. Strangely I had quite a bit of trouble with picking a book for this one! I guess I had too many good choices of books I had for a long time and the ones I’ve only recently acquired. I don’t know what happened with Immortals After Dark book series. It has been four years since the last book and two others were announced but never published. I guess this is the reason I was never in a hurry to catch up with the last published book of the series and just got it this year. This is book number seventeen and I hope that the other two announced books get published as well!

Prompt: Go to the Library

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

My fourth roll landed me on one of the new prompts I’ve added with the new board I made. I added this prompt to make myself read more books in Croatian since I almost stopped reading books in Croatian unless they were specifically for my book club and I could not get them any other way. Promoting the work of my local library is important to me and this will give me a chance to do that. For this prompt I decided to pick a book from the list of books selected to ready with a friend during this year. She is way ahead of me on the list of books she already read and I need to catch up! This is a collection of biographies of Croatian women trough history and it roughly translates into “Cursed Croatian women” due to their mostly tragic lives. This book is in two parts and this edition collects both parts with twenty biographies and interesting information.

Prompt: Friend Pick

Book: Clockwork or all wound up by Philip Pullman, Zdenko Bašić (Illustrator)

My fifth roll was a double roll and that means I get to roll one extra time after this one! The prompt that I got from my fifth roll was a Friend Pick. And since I have a great and understanding friend she picked out a rather short novella book by Philip Pullman and illustrated by a rather famous Zdenko Bašić that does some really dark and interesting art accompanying fantastic books and fairytales. I am using this novella to give Philip Pullman another chance since I did not like his The Golden Compass book enough to continue the series…

Prompt: Random Shelf Pick

Book: Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić

My last roll for may was another interesting prompt that adds more randomness into my picks! I simply picked out a bunch of books from my shelves and with a help of a friend got my last book for Bookopoly in May. This book was a present from another friend who liked it very much. Just few paragraphs before I was writing about the need to read more books in Croatian and now I got one very original by Croatian author. I hope to like it.

Bookopoly TBR game – March 2021 And New Board

This February I’ve taken a break from any types of TBR games and missions and decided to take it slow in order to get my back log of books I am in the middle of reading under some semblance of control. I went over the Bookopoly board with a friend and we made some changes to accommodate it to our needs better. We had some ideas that required a bigger board that we decided not to go with in the end but now we have a bigger board! I am still working on some finishing touches to the design. The tiles and prompts are ready so we did a test run for March already!

After I finish with the coloring and stuff I will go over all the tiles and make a little preview for the board itself. Hopefully this will happen sometime in March. The changes we did were related to the type of books we have on our TBR and I decided to play with the colors on the board a bit as well. So here are my books for March:

First roll of the dice already got me to try out one new prompt we decided to include in the game. My first prompt is EX YU Author so let me provide some insight into out choice to include this prompt in the game. Most of the popular literature we read are originally written in English language with few notable exceptions. Also, most of the books I decide to include into TBR games are written in English and this makes me read a lot of books in English and most of them are what I consider foreign authors. The term EX YU Authors is used for authors that come from the six countries that used to belong to Yugoslavia: Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia and Montenegro. Due to long coexistence of languages of the fore mentioned nationalities it is possible to understand and read the language of them all to some extent or other. This prompt is used to cover reading books in my mother tongue and the language of the close neighboring countries which helps in building my vocabulary and keeps me in touch with authors I would not read as much otherwise. For the first book in the new season of Bookopoly and for this prompt I decided to go with a rather rare edition of a collection of science fiction, horror and fantasy short stories called Priča o Anđeli Novak: essekonska zbirka 1 edited by Davor Banović. There are twenty short stories by authors all over the EX YU region and this collection doesn’t even have a Goodreads entry – something I plan to change as soon as I finish reading!

Prompt: EX YU Author

Book: Priča o Anđeli Novak: essekonska zbirka 1 edited by Davor Banović

My second roll led me to a prompt we decided to keep unchanged: LGBTQ+ representation. Reading is a great way to explore the points of view of others and let us evolve empathy. I had a few options for this prompt but in the end I decided to go with Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston because I wanted something light hearted. I hope to really like this book!

Prompt: LGBTQ+

Book: Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Third roll got me to one of the most open and most usable prompts for me – Sequel! I have lost count of all the book series I am reading at any moment. I decided to pick a book I have already decided to read sometime this year with a friend: Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle #2) by Diana Wynne Jones. I have recently reread the first book and this one has been on my shelf for years! The book is even yellow with age…

Prompt: Sequel

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

I used to read a lot more graphic novels while I was working in a bookstore and had more access to them. I have a small collection of Graphic novels and manga editions on my shelf and there are some I have been meaning to read for a while now. This fourth roll had me pick out one of the last manga purchases I made last year: Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 4 (Kitchen Princess #8-10) by Natsumi Andō (Illustrations), Miyuki Kobayashi. This will be the finishing of a manga series!

Prompt: Graphic Novel / Manga

Book: Kitchen Princess Omnibus Vol. 4 (Kitchen Princess #8-10) by Natsumi Andō (Illustrations), Miyuki Kobayashi

On my fifth roll I got a double and another new prompt: Boyfriend Pick! The double was snake eyes – both dices landed on a one and we decided to keep the rule that any double rolls mean another roll for another book! The Boyfriend Pick is a new prompt altogether and since I used to have small reading challenges with my boyfriend one would think I would be a bit less apprehensive about his pick for me. Before I explained the rules to him – he needs to pick a book for me to read in March his choice was The Complete Lyonesse (Lyonesse #1-3) by Jack Vance. A monstrosity of a book with over 1000 pages… After I told him that I have one month to read all the books he decided to choose another book: Railsea by China Miéville. I am going with the second book but I made a note for the first one.

Prompt: Boyfriend Pick

Book: Railsea by China Miéville

My extra roll got me another prompt I decided to keep unchanged – Highest Rated. I liked being surprised by the books I find on my Highest Rated and Lowest Rated TBR on Goodreads. I was pleasantly surprised by finding that one of the highest rated books on my TBR was actually one of the books I missed reading for last year challenge: Hellboy, Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil (Hellboy #1-2) by Mike Mignola, John Byrne. I’m reading the Croatian edition for this one.

Prompt: Highest Rated

Book: Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil (Hellboy #1-2) by Mike Mignola, John Byrne

January Book Wrap Up 2021

Monthly reading review – January 2021

This January I have read:

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

Sucker Punch (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #27) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

Vitez slavonske ravni by Marija Jurić Zagorka ★★★

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

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

This year started depressingly slow and I had problems with finding the will to read anything. I have read three whole books and finished one I got left from Bookopoly TBR picks from December. This makes it 4 books finished and another 4 I started. I am not happy with the amount or the books I read…

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

The book that made my reading experience more livelier in January was Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin. It was a 500+ pages long book I finished off in about three days as opposed to some other books I’m dragging on for weeks and months now. I connected with the drama and the tragic quality of the characters in Serpent & Dove and would like to continue the series sometime this year.

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

I had really high hopes for Sucker Punch (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #27) by Laurell K. Hamilton and in most ways it let me down. I built my own high expectations for it and needed it to be that good. After it fell flat I kinda lost most of my drive for reading. Next book I read after it I dragged on for almost two weeks. I missed the excitement of picking up a book to read and diving into it.

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

I had humble plans for January from the start. After reading thirteen books in December I knew I needed a bit of a break to slow down my pace. I went with only five books for Bookopoly TBR game and did not manage to finish even those. I finished one book I got left over from December, read another three for Bookopoly TBR and got stuck on the fourth book. I got one book I did not even start at all. All my reading was planned and I find it telling that I did not even got to read anything interesting beside those books I set out.

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

Elminster and Serpent & Dove were technically first books of two new series. I got up to date with Anita Blake the Vampire Hunter series by reading Sucker Punch – the book 27! The book I started on this month Master of Chains (Forgotten Realms: The Fighters #1) by Jess Lebow is also first book of a series which makes a lot of new book series for a really slow reading month!

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

My recommendation from January is just to keep reading and finish books in general. My score sheet for January left me with four books finished and another four I started and did not finish. This is starting to frustrate me and I need to clear my reading pile soon!

Final thoughts on January 2021 reading

I tried out some new authors for me and the results were warried. At one point I even got to the dazzling revelation that I don’t like books without emotional conflicts, love or sex in them. Without those I just can’t seem to keep my interest for the book. I have been toying around with reading only romance books for the whole month or even a year to see how would that work out! Right now I am left with battling to do just that or to take a whole month off any new book and just finish off all the books I am in the middle of reading.

To give myself some books to indulge into or to work trough the books I have already started and feel like a chore that needs to be finished?

Here are the books I have started at some point and are still going as “in the middle of reading“:

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

Started it out this month. It has been on my shelf for over a decade. Also have two another from the series. I don’t seem that inspired with the plot but the reading is going better than expected – I am about 1/4 in.

Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons by Andy Collins, Skip Williams, James Wyatt

Started it in August last year for the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon. I did not expect to take so much time to read it trough. It is not a novel but a guide supplement for Dungeon and Dragons players I have had for over fifteen years. It is large in format and has many details that players of the game might want to read trough. The illustrations are very nice and detailed. I have been reading it on and off since August and I am not even halfway trough!

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I started this book courageously for my birthday last year – July 2020. Since then I picked it up a few times out of guilt since it was one of the books I was planning to read last year for my personal reading challenge. I decided to postpone reading it in favor of some other books and challenges since it is a probably the longest book I have read in years if ever! From 1055 pages I am on 295 currently! The weird thing is I find the book interesting and easy to read considering the style and the adventure theme. The sheer number of pages and the weight of it in my hands while I am reading it and holding it feels oppressive.

MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik

I barely started this book in December since it was another book from my personal challenge list for 2020. I read the first chapter and left it at that. I am not sure what to expect from it still. It is a new author that works in a local history museum. The thing that drew me in was a dark fantasy story set in my hometown.

There is also one more book I was supposed to read this January that I did not even get to:

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

There are some ideas and fantasies I have about myself as a reader. One of them includes reading the classics of the urban fantasy genre and Anne Rice is on top of that list for sure. I remember having problems with reading the first book of The Vampire Chronicles series – I dragged it on for months and months unable to finish it and unable to separate the book from the movie which I have watched a lot of times. I am worried that this will happen again with the second book. I have a big collection of books by Anne Rice and from the seventeen books I own from Anne Rice I have read only one! The book series are all over the place and I should probably write a guide on the order of reading them…