TBR Jar Draw – June 2020 update

Last month I was busy with reading challenges and nearly forgot to include the TBR Jar Draw book into my reading. For this reason I picked out tho shortest and the easiest solution for my TBR Jar Draw in May.

I have read:

Shining Path: Cable Volume 1 by David Tischman, Igor Kordej ★★

This is a Croatian edition in hardcover by Bookglobe publisher. The story was good. I had some problems with following all the action. I kept feeling like I was missing something and had to catch up.
I have some issues with the artwork. Kordej’s works are very recognizable with chunky characters and muscles. What bugged me the most was actually the coloring and I really did not like how it looked with illustrators firm and dark lines.

The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1) by Anthony Trollope AND Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond (The Hollows Short stories) by Kim Harrison went back into the Jar.

For June I pulled three new picks from the Jar:

1# Holidays Are Hell (Short Stories from Hell) by Various authors

This is a collection of urban fantasy short stories form some of the authors that are already known to me. I have three other compilations from Short Stories from Hell series and have already read them. There are three other which I don’t own and as time goes by it is less likely I will find them. This one has some Christmasy wibes and I would like to leave it for when I need a holiday theme book sometime in winter.

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

I am frustrated and annoyed for having accidentally ordered the wrong format of the last two books from the Iron Druid Chronicles book series. My mode worsens just by looking at the shelf and how out of place the book series now looks right there. This is not giving me any incentive to take and read the books in this series. If I had a paying job and money to get another editions that fit instead I would…right now I am just too annoyed to concentrate on reading these books and the more time passes the less I am motivated to give it a go…

3# Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 1 by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson

This is my pick for June and I managed to include it in two other reading challenges for June! One is  Make Your Myth-Taker reading challenge which you can check out HERE And the other one is The Olympic Games which you can check out HERE This book is almost the size of the other two together so it will be a real challenge to read it.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Lately I’ve been really stuck in trying to get through two reading challenges I have going on this month. You can check out my list for first time trying them out if you want.

I talk about my Make Your Myth-Taker reading challenge HERE

and you can see my choices for the The Olympic Games HERE

While I was checking out some Booktube channels for inspiration and new ideas, a friend of mine suggested we go through the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag to each other. We actually made videos to each other answering the tags and talking about books and life in general and now our significant others are thinking we are very weird because of it. We don’t plan posting the videos anywhere public and they are for personal use and enjoyment only; but it gave me something to think about in my reading time as well. This is why I decided to make a post to go through the tags and summarize what I have learned about myself and my reading in the first half of 2020.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020

Incubus Caged (The Incubus, #1) by A. H. Lee

This book was a revelation for me. I did not find many good fantasy books or stories that incorporate hardcore sex well. I get really agitated by mainstream fantasy books that skirt around the actual sexual act. I made a point not to read some of the authors who do this no matter how popular their stories are. I was kinda blown away at how good this book was in that regard. The magical and fantasy aspects of the book were really well done by my opinion and the sexual theme seemed was nicely incorporated into it. The beginning of the story was a bit touch and go until the fantastical world the author build unfolded. The fact that this is a accidental Kindle find and I bought the whole trilogy says a lot since I’m a bit traditionally stingy when it comes to buying books on Kindle – I prefer physical copies.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black

I bought first two books of The Folk of the Air book series at the Interliber book fair in Zagreb last year. I’ve only started reading them in January this year. I was reluctant to get the third book since the format was different than the first two and that really annoys me. I read both books in quick succession and was left with a dilemma: wait for half a year for the same format of the third book to come out OR get the third book in a bigger hardcover format… This book had such an influence on me that I went and ordered the hardcover third book – again, this is something I have never done before! I ended up loving the whole trilogy so much I plan on rereading the last book this month!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Lately I have been very glad of my book club friends. Through book club I met some wonderful people and my life is richer for the experiences we shared. When I learn that this is a book about a book club with an urban fantasy twist I was interested right away! This book reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris which I started reading back when it was still called The Southern Vampire Mysteries and I got really nostalgic and reminded that I never read the last book of that series… Anyway I’m getting off topic here, but book club, vampire slaying and a quirky band of women – I’m totally getting this book soon!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

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

The reason I put this book as the most anticipated release for the second half of 2020. is because at the start of the 2020 one of the Croatian publishers announced it will be translating it. I’m guessing it might come somewhere in autumn or whenever the TV show starts releasing on Netflix. I really can’t wait for the translated edition to come out so I can talk about it with some of my book club friends who don’t read books in English. And I really want to talk more about these books with some people in my life!

5. Biggest disappointment

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13) by Kim Harrison

The amount of disappointment I felt because of this book does not really show in the review I did for it. I postponed reading this book since it was a last book of the series I have been reading for a long time. I went trough a lot in my life while reading these books and they kinda kept me afloat of the bad things. I had very strong emotions and fond memories connected with these books and characters. This last book fell flat for me. I could not get into it and I was annoyed while reading. I was seriously considering to get rid of all the books and this is still an option for me. From a book series that game me good vibes I was left with a lots of negative emotions that frustrate me when I think about these books. You can check my review HERE.

6. Biggest surprise

The Incubus book series by A. H. Lee

As I’ve already mentioned the best book as I count my reading experiences in 2020 was the first book of the Incubus trilogy. This whole series was the biggest positive surprise for me in 2020. I will be on the lookout for this author for some other fantasy works with adult content. This is the kind of story I’m glad I often take chances with Kindle freebies and samples.

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Holly Black with her The Folk of the Air

Another already mentioned and new for me author this year is Holly Black and her The Folk of the Air book series. I have heard of her works before but since they were mostly aimed at younger audiences I mostly skipped them. The Folk of the Air was a thrill to read and I love those characters. I have acquired desktop and mobile background fan art of Jude and Cardan. The scenes and characters are very expressive and dramatic and I love the writing style. At the same time I am glad that the trilogy The Folk of the Air is complete and finished but would love to read more of the stories with these characters. I actually don’t mind rereading these books which is something I don’t do often!

8. Newest fictional crush

Tom Severin from Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6) by  Lisa Kleypas

Tom Severin from Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6) by  Lisa Kleypas is a workaholic that never had motivation to live life for anything else but his work. He starts as cold, distant and money motivated. When a chance of a good deal in his personal life comes along he would not be the driven businessman he is not to take it. I love the jaded and the childlike logic of Tom Severin: he has amassed enough wealth that he is capable of making someone happy with it. He is hardworking and cares for those in his charge when he has the chance to prove it. It is a heartbreaking character with integrity and a it just makes me love him more for it!

9. Newest favorite character

Cardan Greenbriar from The Folk of the Air

This character is amazingly written! The amount of backstory that was given and even more that it was only hinted about was a pleasure to read. I love how flawed he comes off in the books and how his character growth flows in a constant stream whether he is in the center of the narrative or not. In the whole trilogy his character is constantly moving and growing. Every scene with him shows progress in some way and I love how the author managed that.

10. Book that made you cry

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I read a number of Grishaverse books in quick succession but the amount of tears from the Crooked Kingdom took me by surprise. I wept and kept reading believing that something will happen to disprove the reason for my weeping! The sadness was even greater since the character that was most hit by grief in the book was very open and lovable and the grief translated so raw to the reader.

11. Book that made you happy

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Just holding this book in my hands makes me excited. It is gorgeous and the story inside it has taken some very sharp twists and turns that make me wonder how the author is going to handle the next book of the series. Reading this book has made me equally happy and frightful but also very excited with the prospects it brings to the plot. I believe I will be riding this hype train long into the Netflix TV show and I hope it will be good enough to last more than a few seasons!

12. Favorite book to film adaptation that you’ve seen this year

October Faction / Altered Carbon-Takeshi Kovacs

While I was going trough the many book to film adaptations I loved watching so far this year I had so many options but most of them were adaptations of books I have not read. I chose two options for that reason. One is a graphic novel to a one season Netflix TV series adaptation which started kinda shaky but I ended up liking enough to want to read the graphic novels which I understand differ from the TV adaptation greatly. My second choice was the second season of Altered Carbon TV series and Takeshi Kovacs book series by Richard Morgan. I have not read those either but have a friend that was very upset by the book/adaptation differences as well. I liked the adaptations and enjoyed watching both TV series!

13. Favorite review you’ve written (booktube or written)

Book of Wayward Girls and Wicked Women edited by Angela Carter 

In March I have read a collection of short stories about women from a colorful selection of authors and enjoyed them greatly. I was inspired to take pictures of quotes and post them on Instagram as well. I enjoyed reading and writing about this book and the thematic mood for March was a great fir as well. Up to this book I did not use many props while taking pictures because I don’t feel very talented in arranging them in general. This book made me feel empowered in a way and it was nice to write about my reading experience with it. You can check out my review HERE.

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

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

This year was extraordinary in many ways for me and the books I’ve read and acquired. I have taken to buying more hardcover editions and how pretty a book is definitely factors into the equation more for me as of late. In a batch of books I recived early this year Ninth House is one of the prettiest. I’ve taken to love the shiny illustrations under the jacket of the hardcover editions.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I have made a few lists of books I plan to read by the end of the year and among the books I have left to read there are a few I know I will need some extra motivation and concentration. I will not post these lists here now, you can check some of them on this post HERE. I would like to single out a few that I am both excited and apprehensive about starting to read. One that will be a challenge is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. It is a big book and I have a great desire to read it “one day”. I will have to push myself with it and hope for the best. Also I plan on tackling the whole The Trials of Apollo book series by Rick Riordan by the end of the year. I have found it difficult to immerse myself into the main story of these books.

It is very evident that my 2020 reading was heavily influenced by few selected authors and book series. I have made good on my goals to read more of the books I already own and I am very pleased with results so far. I hope to be this pleased with my reading by the end of this year as well!

Reading Challenges update May

header

Lately I’m keeping myself busy by trying out some booktube inspired challenges. In April I tried O.W.L.s Magical Readathon for the first time and this month I am trying Medieval-A-Thon. I kinda like the prompts that inspire me to search trough my own bookshelves to find the books that fit these challenges. I have several reading challenges of my own that serve a purpose of making me read the books I already own. I’m making an effort to fit books across several challenges at once.

Here are the reading challenges I am trying out at the moment:

TBR Jar Draw

This is my personal reading challenge I started out years ago. In the beginning the goal was to try and read one book I own a month. There were some bumps on the way and sometimes I stretched it longer than one month.The idea was to give myself some options because I am very bad at reading something because it is mandatory. I got a decorative jar and wrote down the titles of books I own and and are on my To-Be-Read pile on little pieces of paper which I then folded and put into the jar. I pull out three titles and chose one to read as a next book. In March I choose to read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J. K. Rowling and two other titles went back in the Jar ( see HERE for more info). After that I pulled the next three titles in April and this made my last three titles from the Jar:

IMG_20200516_100237

1 # The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan

This book was already on my O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and did not get read for it. I managed to include it into the Medieval-A-Thon in May and already finished it!

2 # The Wolf Gift (The Wolf Gift Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice

When I was younger I had the idea I wanted to read more books by Anne Rice so I started collecting them. Now I have full shelf of them even though I still miss some of her works and have read only a few. I like the idea still but making it reality is something different still.

3 # Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

This was one of the books I got on bargain sale while I was harbouring big dreams of reading more classics and all the books I managed to avoid reading during school. I have a whole shelf of those books as well!

Since the The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan was already on some other reading lists anyway I read it and pulled three new titles from the Jar for May.

My three new TBR Jar draw are:

1 # Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond (The Hollows Short stories) by Kim Harrison

I used to love The Hollows series. Until I read the last book and got real frustrated by it. I got this book just before all that and was happy to have found it. It is the last book related to The Hollows book series I own and have not read. I’m not particulary motivated to grab it and start reading since I’m still feeling bad for not enjoying the last book of the series – you can check out my review for it HERE.

2 # The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1) by Anthony Trollope

Another of the books I got really cheap and liked it since it was a classic. I keep mistaking this book with some others and I’m still liking the idea of reading it.

3Shining Path: Cable Volume 1 by David Tischman, Igor Kordej

I got this graphic novel as a present for my boyfriend. It was just before the second Deadpool movie was about to come out and the character of Cable was about to be introduced to the big screen. I’m still curious about the character enough to read it.

IMG_20200516_100728

Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge

I did not plan on doing another intensive reading challenge right after O.W.L.s Magical Readathon last month. But this reading challenge got me really excited. I started it about a week later and I’m kinda slow going trough it right now.

Here is a list of the books I’ve chosen for this reading challenge:

✔  Dragon on the cover

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan

✔  A book under 300 pages

Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee

A shiny book

The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris

Reading now – Start or finish a duology

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth

A book high on my bookshelf

Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton

A book that begins with a “C”

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell

Reading now – A tall hardcover

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, John Rocco

You can check out my original post on this challenge HERE.

IMG_20200506_093612

My reading list for 2020

Last but not least is my ongoing TBR for 2020. These are all books from my shelves and these are all books I expect to enjoy one way or another. I’m not reading them in any particular order but letting myself enjoy them as the mood strikes me or as the case may be – as they fit into some other more immediate book challenge! For now I have read 12/30 books from this challenge and have another three planned for this month! You can check out the original post for this challenge HERE.

✔ Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
✔ Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth
Prey (Shifters, #4) by Rachel Vincent
Carniepunk by Rachel Caine (editor)
✔ The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13) by Kim Harrison
Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy by Ellen Datlow (editor)
✔ The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
✔ The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black
Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell
Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell
✔ The Battle of the Labyrinth: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels, #4) by by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
✔ Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso
✔ Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess, #5-7) by Natsumi Ando
Saga: Book Three by Brian K. Vaughan
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1) by Gregory Maguire
✔ Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races, #3) by Thea Harrison
✔ Djevojka iz noćnih mora (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake ( Girl of Nightmares )
MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Balzac i kineska mala krojačica by Dai Sijie ( Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise)
Neobičan događaj sa psom u noći by Mark Haddon ( The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold
✔ The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan
The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3) by Rick Riordan
The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan
Hellboy, Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola
✔ The Darkness: Darkness/ Batman & Darkness/ Superman 20th Anniversary Collection by Garth Ennis, Jeph Loeb, Ron Marz, Scott Lobdell, Marc Silvestri

IMG_20200122_105633_1

Some of these challenges inspired me to try them out next year as well and hopefully some friends might join me!

Reading Challenges update February

hero

In the summer last year I started making lists of the books I own and wanted to read. I like making lists and checking off stuff on a list gives me a positive boost I need. I decided to make smaller lists and prioritize books I want to read in a few months intervals. That worked nicely and gave me an approximation of my reading habits and appetites. Reading more of the books I already own and want to read anyway; made me focus better and read more in general. I have a few books left over from the last list I made in 2019. and I’m happy to report I’ve made progress on those as well.

  1. ✔  Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent
  2. ✔ The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison
  3. ✔  Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  4. ✔  Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  5. ✔  Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
  6. ✔  The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
    by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti,
  7. ✔  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
    by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
  8. ✔  The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
  9. ✔  Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso
  10. ✔ Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso
  11. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card
  12. Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess #5-7) by Natsumi Andō
  13. ✔  Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs
  14. Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison
  15. ✔ Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

IMG_20200213_142020Last three books I’m behind on!

For 2020. I compiled I list of 30 books I want to read that I already own and those are actually coming along nicely as well! The first three books I’ve read are on both of the lists and I’m making those a priority. It is satisfying to check off books from both lists at once.  The books I’ve read from last update are:

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison ★★★

Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso ★★★★

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake ★★★

I did a book review on The Witch With No Name and you can check it out HERE.

IMG_20200213_134123

Here is the list of the books I own and want to read in 2020:

  1. ✔  Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  2. ✔  Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth
  4. Prey (Shifters, #4) by Rachel Vincent
  5. Carniepunk by Rachel Caine (editor)
  6. ✔  The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13) by Kim Harrison
  7. Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy by Ellen Datlow (editor)
  8. ✔  The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
  9. ✔  The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black
  10. Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton
  11. Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell
  12. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell
  13. The Battle of the Labyrinth: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels, #4) by by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
  14. ✔  Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso
  15. Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess, #5-7) by Natsumi Ando
  16. Saga: Book Three by Brian K. Vaughan
  17. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1) by Gregory Maguire
  18. Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races, #3) by Thea Harrison
  19. ✔  Djevojka iz noćnih mora (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake ( Girl of Nightmares )
  20. MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik
  21. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  22. Balzac i kineska mala krojačica by Dai Sijie ( Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise)
  23. Neobičan događaj sa psom u noći by Mark Haddon ( The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
  24. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  25. The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold
  26. The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan
  27. The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3) by Rick Riordan
  28. The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan
  29. Hellboy, Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola
  30. The Darkness: Darkness/ Batman & Darkness/ Superman 20th Anniversary Collection by Garth Ennis, Jeph Loeb, Ron Marz, Scott Lobdell, Marc Silvestri

I’m already facing challenges because some of the new books from this year’s first book haul that are not on either of these lists look really tempting. I already read some of the newest books I got this year and you can check out my first Book Haul of 2020 HERE

So far my reading pace has been a little ahead of my reading goals and I will probably go easy on myself and continue reading the books that draw me in. Last month I enjoyed all of the books I’ve read a lot and I want to keep reading the books that make me happy and interested.

One of the reading challenges I’ve kinda neglected since last year is my TBR Jar Draw Challenge. Last update and reading I did was back in October 2019. I’ve read two books for it in less than one month and then felt I got some levy and held it back a bit. Now it’s time to get back on track for that as well!

IMG_20200213_140821

My three TBR Jar draws are as follows:

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Railsea by China Miéville

The Gospel of Loki (Loki #1) by Joanne M. Harris

I will probably have to take time to make some revisions for this challenge after I read one of the three books from this Jar Draw. My main concern is that some of the books I put in the TBR Jar Draw were just random books from the shelves that hold both my books and those of my boyfriend. We have different reading tastes and some of the books he reads would be a slow torture for me…

You can read more about how my TBR Jar Draw all started HERE 

fishchallenge1

January Book Wrap Up 2020

download

Monthly reading review – January 2020

This January I have read:

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black ★★★★

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black ★★★★★

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3) by Holly Black ★★★★★

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison ★★★

january book wrap 2020

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

This January I read 7 books total. I am happy with the amount and page count in particular.

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

All of the books were fantasy genre. The first half of January I was totally into Grishaverse and managed to read everything Leigh Bardugo had written related to Grishaverse. The second part of the month I was happily enjoying Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air series – I’m still confused as to why they are called that though :/ But the characters Jude and Cardan have become favorites right away!

originalThis is just one of the beautiful pictures I found of Cardan and Jude – all rights belong to the author and artist!

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

The only book I had any issues reading this month was The Witch With No Name. I got overwhelmed by the complicate metaphysics supernatural elements of the book. I let too much time pass between reading this last book of The Hollows series and the previous one. I had problems keeping up with the book plot. You can check out my review for more details HERE.

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

I made a list of the books I own I wish to read this year and five of them I read this January already. I’m very happy with that score and enjoy making reading plans so I can keep better track of my reading.  You can check out the whole list HERE. I will be making  a separate post and update on it later in February.

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

Having finished all books related to the Grishaverse universe I will have to wait for the next book in Nikolai duology which happens to be one of the most anticipated books this year! I have finally finished with The Hollows series by Kim Harrison (insert little happy/sad dance here). That felt like a chapter of my life has been finished as well – this is how long I was a devoted reader to this book series. As for The Folk of the Air book series – I managed to make a run trough the whole trilogy this month and will probably need to turn to some fanfiction and hope that the author writes some more books soon!

IMG_20200201_203020

 

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

I have become a devoted reader fan to both Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black. I’m going to try some other books by Leigh Bardugo in February – primarily Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) which I have ordered and received already. Anyone who likes fantasy will probably like both of the Grishaverse and The Folk of the Air book series. I find the plot engaging and the books are just beautiful as well!

IMG_20200201_202826

The Witch With No Name – Book Review

wwnnhccover

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13)

by Kim Harrison

★★★

 

Expectation

This is the last book in The Hollows book series. I had it for a few years now without reading it. I did not the series to be over and have postponed reading it. This book series was with me for almost a decade and a half. I have went trough some tough times reading these books and have grown to love the characters quite a bit. It has been a few years since I’ve read the previous book and I was not sure what to expect. I had no expectations for the book series finale and was open to anything. I have finally picked out this book for a reading challenge I made to read more books I own and pushed it to the top of the reading list.

Summary

I had some trouble getting into this book. I guess I let too much time to pass since reading the previous one in the series. Other than the characters not much else seemed all that familiar. I remember having issues with the urban fantasy world the author has build for her characters. The main character starts out as a witch in a world full of many different fantastical creatures. The witches, the elves, the vampires and the demons are just some of the creatures the author has created and added her own mark and flavor to them. The plot of the whole series spans over just a few years but the world the author has built has a long history and culture of the mentioned fantastical species. I remember being shocked at the outright dystopian setting of the books being revealed in one of the previous books. I had some difficulties understanding the magic and the metaphysics of the characters and the world in general.

IMG_20200129_194453

This was painfully clear to me while I was reading this last book of the series. The plot has come to a boiling point of the metaphysical forces and I could not keep up with it all. I spent a big part of this book fumbling to understand all that the author had to say in this book. 

The saving grace for me were the characters I still loved. They were as dear as I remember them to be. Their complex relationships were the only part of this book I actually enjoyed reading about. There were some high drama moments through the books that threatened to topple everything down and the sometimes pathetic state of doubt the main character found herself in at times was a bit annoying.

Conclusion

I guess this serves as a lesson for me not to let so much time pass between reading the books. I felt totally out of sync with this book and just could not make myself enjoy it as much as I did the others. I decided to concentrate myself on the good things and all the quotable parts of the book series before deciding on a three star rating.

IMG_20190824_165709

The ending has left me feeling down and not pleased at all. After reading this last book I got the sudden urge to sell the whole series and be done with it. I still have the Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond short story collection that goes with it to read through but now I’m not so sure about it anymore.

Reading plans and challenges

I like looking out how other people challenge themselves to read books and spend more time reading. This time of the year there are a lot of booktube and blog posts on this topic. I use this blog to keep track of my reading and navigate my own reading plans.

ive-decided-my-2020-will-start-on-february-1st-january-67860486

For this year I made a fairly doable reading challenge to read 55 books in 2020. And with those randomly picked 55 books through the year I made one more challenge for the year by adding 30 books I own. These 30 books are quite specific and I made a whole list. The only freedom I allowed myself is random order at any time during 2020 to pick which ever book I feel like at the time.

Here is the list of the books I own and want to read in 2020:

  1. ✔  Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  2. ✔  Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  3. The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth
  4. Prey (Shifters, #4) by Rachel Vincent
  5. Carniepunk by Rachel Caine (editor)
  6. The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13) by Kim Harrison
  7. Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy by Ellen Datlow (editor)
  8. ✔  The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black
  9. ✔  The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black
  10. Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton
  11. Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell
  12. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell
  13. The Battle of the Labyrinth: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels, #4) by by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
  14. Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso
  15. Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess, #5-7) by Natsumi Ando
  16. Saga: Book Three by Brian K. Vaughan
  17. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1) by Gregory Maguire
  18. Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races, #3) by Thea Harrison
  19. Djevojka iz noćnih mora (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake ( Girl of Nightmares )
  20. MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik
  21. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  22. Balzac i kineska mala krojačica by Dai Sijie ( Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise)
  23. Neobičan događaj sa psom u noći by Mark Haddon ( The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
  24. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
  25. The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold
  26. The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan
  27. The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3) by Rick Riordan
  28. The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan
  29. Hellboy, Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola
  30. The Darkness: Darkness/ Batman & Darkness/ Superman 20th Anniversary Collection by Garth Ennis, Jeph Loeb, Ron Marz, Scott Lobdell, Marc Silvestri

IMG_20200122_105633_1Prey (Shifters, #4) by Rachel Vincent slipped under the table and onto a chair and is not on the picture. I had to look for it frantically for 20 minutes…

I have already made some progress on this list and have read 4 books so far. I have some books left unread from a reading challenge I thought for myself last year.

IMG_20200122_104658

Some of the books from that list ended up on this one. Here is how I stand on that list:

  1. ✔  Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent
  2. The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison
  3. ✔  Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  4. ✔  Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  5. ✔  Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo
  6. ✔  The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
    by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti,
  7. ✔  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
    by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
  8. ✔  The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan
  9. ✔  Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso
  10. Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso
  11. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card
  12. Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess #5-7) by Natsumi Andō
  13. ✔  Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs
  14. Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison
  15. Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

IMG_20200122_104542

Five of these books I have yet to read and only one of them is not on my list of books I own. I started on The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13) by Kim Harrison. The Witch With No Name is on both of the lists. I will update these reading lists regularly and keep updates on both of them together. 

wwnnhccover

Reading plans by the end of the year

IMG_20191019_120320

Making reading plans makes me feel energized and active. The activity of making lists is something I enjoy. This year’s Summer reading challenge made a good impression and I felt good about my reading and proud about the results. Mostly after finishing a book I have a few moments of being lost when I start thinking about what to read next.

img_20191019_120556.jpg

Having an actual list is soothing and relaxing. I like having options and seeing my own progress. And lately I miss seeing my own progress in general. Marking off books I’ve finished reading makes me feel giddy and satisfied.

There are a number of factors that will influence my reading by the end of this year and because of that I will not give myself a time limit but only strive to have at least one book of the list I will be reading at all times.

Here is the list of the books I’ve made a priority to read:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

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

Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

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

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

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

Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso

Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess #5-7) by Natsumi Andō

Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs

Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

IMG_20191019_120429

I’ve chosen the books from my own shelves. All books are in the fantasy category and are mostly a part of the series I already love. The only exemption is science fiction Ender’s Game which I’m interested in for quite some time now – I borrowed the book and it is a first one in the series. The list includes graphic novels and manga editions which I wanted to add more but will keep them as a bonus on the side.

img_20191019_120459.jpg

On a whim I decided to go with fifteen books as I had in my last challenge. The time I needed for fifteen books in my Summer reading challenge was around two months and that is exactly what I’m going for by the end of the year!

Wish me luck!

Book series I almost finished reading

Blank Book Spine Row in Various Colours

I am a big fan of urban fantasy book series. I have many older (ten on more years from when they were first published) book series I was interested in. And then there are some I just added on my TBR without ever knowing if I will get the chance to read them at all.  Then there are some book series I have in my possession that I did not finish but for some reason stopped reading somewhere in the last few years or so. There are various reasons for not finishing a book series and while they may include not having the actual book to read to continue the series, it is usually something less straight forward than that…

giphy

Here are some book series I started reading and did not finish. After some time the reasons for not finishing them all blur into forgetting about them. And forget about them I did so much so that even continuing reading the series requires some research into what book did I read last!

IMG_20190824_165709

The Hollows by Kim Harrison

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is a thirteen books long series I turned to when life got a bit hard to deal with. Sometimes these books served as a security blanket or something to hold onto when life pulled the ground under me. I even wrote about it in one of my Books that changed me posts. I own all thirteen books and have read all but the last one – The Witch With No Name. I distinctly remember enjoying the story and loving reading about the characters and I’m not really sure why I’m keeping myself from finishing this book series.

IMG_20190824_170210

Kushiel’s Universe series by Jacqueline Carey

Kushile’s Universe book series is a set of three trilogies that build upon one another and each has a different main protagonist. First three books are called Phedre’e Trilogy and the books four to six are called Imriel’s Trilogy by their respective main characters. The last three books and the only ones I did not read are called Naamah Trilogy by the name of the prominent deity Naamah in the books. While the first six books continue more or less directly and make a decent rounded story, the last trilogy is set some further time apart and after all the events of the previous books. In this one the main characters from first two trilogies are vaguely mentioned as their exploits have become an integral part of culture and history of this rich imagined world. For some reason I’m stuck on the last trilogy which I can feel staring at me from the shelves in a totally different edition design than the first two and they even might be a little angry I put them on a different shelf apart from the rest…

IMG_20190824_170405

Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid Chronicles was one of the rare book series I was reading together with my boyfriend. We both enjoyed it and he actually read maybe two books (I’m really not sure about the last book I’ve read) more than I did. But I read some of the short stories on Kindle and in some short story collections I got. I had to check on GR how many books in this book series is there at all and I’m still unsure which ones I’ve read. I know I have at least three books in my possession that I did not read from this series.

IMG_20190824_170839

Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

The Sookie Stackhouse book series was a recommendation I got from Amazon long before it was made into a popular TV show on HBO. Back then it was know as a Southern Vampire Mysteries and I was not too thrilled by that title. I ended enjoying the books more than I expected. It was one of the first book series I liked the UK editions design more than the US editions. When the TV show was popular I was glad it differed from the books so I can enjoy each separately and at my own leisure pace. But then they changed the design of the editions I was buying and I was unhappy about it so much so I postponed buying them all in order. Now I don’t know for sure which book I read last and keep forgetting the title of the one I’m missing – and It’s not the last one I’m missing either, I got the last one! Did I mention how irritated it makes me to see same publisher with such different cover design? Colors and sizes tend to jump around here. Just thinking about it all gives me a rash about the mess my reading is with this book series…

IMG_20190824_171250

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Series

I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. So when they decided to continue the story trough graphic novels I was happy to have that to binge on.  They even named it Season 8 since the TV show ended with season seven. There was also Angel TV show and then there were graphic novels that continued Angel as well. Sometime in the last decade I lost track of it all. I did not get them all at the same time because they were still coming out and were a bit pricey for my budget at the time. I was not too thrilled with how the characters looked either. I would read them pretty quick and the long wait until I got the next one I would have to read them again and so on. Now I got the complete Season 8 and no clue as to which ones I’ve read. I stopped buying them at Season 9 and the more time passes so do the chances of me getting the rest or reading them all gets more slim. The thing is, the plot continues between Angel and Faith graphic novels and these and I’m really interested in those as well! I feel like I should start at the start with watching the TV show from scratch. The more I think about it the less I think I can spare that much time on it and I dislike the gaps in my understanding of the series.

Never-Again

There were some book series I stopped reading for not liking them enough as well! I made a conscious decision at some point that I did not enjoy the story or the characters were too irritating to continue. Here are two examples of those:

img_20190824_170959.jpg

Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

I started this book series without knowing much about it. Few years later when I decide I had had enough with the silly names and dislikeable characters this book series became a hit my country. I think that to this day it was one of the rare urban fantasy series that was translated whole into Croatian language. Although the appeal of erotic fiction was probably what did it for the mass market public I did not share in the craze of this one.

IMG_20190824_171026

Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux was a YA romace with aliens I was willing to try out because I never read any YA romance with aliens before! At first it was all cute and refreshing but after reading the third one I decided that these books are just to YA and too cute for what I was looking for. I’m still fond of this book series but I have decided I don’t really need to read any more of it. I guess I kinda grew out of the YA romance with aliens…

Books-in-animated-gifs-books-dancing-waltz

What are your reasons for not finishing a book series? Do you have any advice for me?

TBR Jar Draw March 2018

I really enjoyed my TBR Jar Draw pick for February – Strange Candy. The short stories are my favorite form and I often get surprised at how much I like them. Especially if some time has passed since I’ve read any.

29484

You can check my Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton review —> HERE.

The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

# The Witch with no Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

510yzqD6ukL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_

1# The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I had this book on my TBR list for quite a long time. This book has all the elements I love in a good story but for some reason I did not jump on it right away. I only got it last year though. There were also some attempts to push it as a book club reading which would have been a good way for me to push it up on the TBR list. I do hope I will find the inspiration to read it soon.

51y8Cp2ZnHL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_

2# Uncle Silas by Sheridan LeFanu

This book was one of the spur of the moment buys. I did not think it trough. I just vaguely heard about the topic and genre and then someone was praising it and then next thing that happened was I went and bought it… Since then I have less spur of the moment buys episodes but I am still curious of the theme and Victorian Gothic period. Sadly I have been disappointed with some Gothic novels I read before and I did not get much incentive to take this book on.

9781401230029

3# Fringe: Tales From The Fringe by Various

This is a graphic novel with short stories by various authors and artists. I was never much of a fan of the TV show Fringe but my boyfriend loved it. This graphic novel was a gift for him. I don’t remember even putting it in the TBR Jar. I do vaguely remember reading some of the stories but would not mind reading trough it again.

book-choices-7th-grade-2-728

I might choose an easy option and go with the graphic novel for March. Although I am really interested in The Princess Bride as well. I plan on reading some of the books that are part of my TBR Jar challenge and are not in the Jar Draw for March anyway. I will see how it goes time wise…