Bookopoly TBR game – November and December 2020

After much thought on trying to accommodate my personal reading goals for this year and squeeze those books in as much as possible reading challenges by the end of the year I decided to give Bookopoly TBR game a chance for December as well. The reason I made this decision is that I was very happy and pleased with how my Bookopoly TBR game went smoothly in November. I managed to finish all of my assigned books in the first half of the month!

Naturally this left me with more time on my hands than I anticipated and I started getting these crazy ideas instead of reading the books I picked for my personal reading challenge…

Here are the books that made the first half of November a smooth reading experience:

Prompt: Nature on the Cover

Book: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ★★

This was one of the books for my personal reading challenge for the year. It’s a Croatian translation of a not so popular classic. This book turned out one of the less enjoyable books for me in November. I could clearly read the mistakes in translation and editing and it made me sad since the story and the idea had so much more to offer. I can’t help but think that if it were written today with the help of a good editor it would have been so much better. I liked the idea and the mystery of the story but it was hard to keep up with everything and I did not like authors writing style at all…

Prompt: Chance card

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

This is the only book that was not a part of my personal reading challenge for this year that got included into Bookopoly TBR game in November since it gave me no choice to pick something else. I’ve had this book and a few other in the series for years now and I love urban fantasy. It was different in a way that included character types that are original instead of the usual vampires, shifters and such. What impressed me the most is that the main character is a survivor and I like to read about survivors. The Zodiac theme was at first a bit cringey and then I got used to it. Sadly the zodiac signs that the story is centered at don’t make me invested, otherwise I would have rated it with five stars probably!

Prompt: TBR Veteran

Book: The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★

This book is one of the rare favorites I own in Croatian translation that I am happy about. It was a part of my personal reading challenge and I would like to read more of the series anyway. It is also rare for me to enjoy science fiction this much but the characters are great to read about and the writing style keeps the reader on its toes. It is the kind of book series I enjoy and have surprisingly little problems getting into even after longer periods of time.

Prompt: Disability representation

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

This was the first book I read in November and it was another from my personal challenge for the year pile. The main character is a teenage boy with autism. I loved how easily some things I did not know about autism were explained and put to paper. I plan to vote for this book to be read in by book club group and I wish to discuss it with others for more insight into things I have probably missed. The mystery part of the story was interesting and the human part of it was very relatable and realistic.

Prompt: Young Adult

Book: Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★★

Out of the books from this list this one made me most apprehensive to start reading. I wanted to like it and was scared I would be let down. I am so glad I loved it. The change of POVs in the book was done in such a way that it let the reader get the most from each scene. I learned to appreciate each character more in this way. The start of the book was angsty and it matched with my mood about the book. I am torn about waiting for the next book of the series and can’t wait for it!

My friend talked me into playing the game for December a little earlier than usual and I had some time thinking trough and choosing the books for my new prompts. This is the first time I rolled a double and I got not one but two double rolls and the were both snake eyes! Our positions on the board are now mostly on the totally opposite sides since my rolls tend to be a bit lower than hers and she got more doubles in total. This December instead of five books from five rolls I got seven rolls and seven books!

My first roll was my first double ever since I started this TBR game. It was double ones. Also my first time I landed on a Becca and the Books recommendation tile. I could not find any list that included all her recommendations so far so I started going trough some of her video recommendations trough the months and different topics. I decided on Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones from her Best Books of 2019 video which you can check out HERE. I choose this book in particular because it is my book club reading choice for December as well! I hope to watch the anime after I read the book and before our book club meeting.

My next roll got me to the most problematic prompt for this month – Fire on the Cover. I am trying to include books I have on my personal reading challenge for the year but no matter how hard I tried I could not find anything resembling fire enough to pass as a valid prompt choice. I turned to some lists of books I was talking about reading in my book club and this book stood out: The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett. It is a book that I consider a classic of the genre and one I would very much like to read so I can fill in the popular culture blanks I feel I get when I’m confronted with references to Discworld and Terry Pratchett in general. I’m reading the digital version and put the cover of the same edition in color so that the torch in the center is not missed as fire for my prompt!

This is the second time I landed on the “Sad Book” prompt and I am starting to really consider removing this prompt from the game board. I am not too keen on reading sad books in particular I cry at those not labelled as sad books enough as it is. After consulting my other reading challenge list I settled on the graphic novel: Saga (Collected Editions) #7-9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples. I short perusing the book got me some almost spoiler information that left me distraught and made me remember how dramatic the story really gets in these graphic novels.

Next roll was the highest I got in a while and got me on the “Most recent purchase” tile. I had few options from my most recent Book haul post which you can check out HERE. In the end I choose The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo #5) by Rick Riordan. As the last book of the longtime favorite series and a book that goes well with my other reading challenge I decided it would fit nicely and make me feel very good about finishing a book series by the end of the year as well.

My next roll got me to one of those non-flexible prompts – Chance cards again. I pulled out another book that is not on my other reading list for this year: The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. It is one of the oldest books on my TBR by date of publication since it was made over one thousand years ago and it is frankly rather intimidating book for me. I tried reading it once before but had to let it go for some other time. I hope I will have better luck with it this time around.

First extra roll ever landed me on another Audio or E-Book prompt. I reserve these prompts for Kindle freebies to ensure that at least some of the many new authors and books I browse on Kindle lists of freebies get read by me. This time I shamelessly decided on a urban fantasy book for mature audiences – Taken by The Hunger (Blood Thirst Affair #1) by Harnet Spade. It is a slightly older Kindle freebie and I am going to let myself be surprised by it.

My last extra roll landed me on another Chance card tile. At this rate I will be out of my Chance card since I’ve pulled almost one third of them already ( 5 out of 16). Another non-flexible pick I can’t combine with my personal reading challenge for this year. This time I got Elminster: The Making of a Mage (Forgotten Realms: Elminster #1) by Ed Greenwood. It is one of the few book series from my bookshelves that I am collecting and haven’t even started reading yet.

This makes a total of seven books added for my December reading enjoyment. Five of the books are the books I own and from my own physical bookshelves and two are in the digital form. Only three of them are part of some other reading challenge or assignment. This leaves me with much more reading material for December than I anticipated. What will I do?

Monthly reading review December 2014


An Abby Wright illustration of a women reading a book outside in the snow

In December I managed to catch some reading time and squeeze it in. Here is a list of the books I’ve read in December:

1984 by George Orwell ★★

House of Glass Witcher Vol 1. by Paul Tobin ★★★

Mirror Dance (Miles Vorkosigan saga book 12) by Lois MacMaster Bujold ★★★★

Jason (Anita Blake vampire hunter book 23) by Laurel K. Hamilton ★★

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Vol 10 by Naoko Takeuchi ★★★

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Vol 11 by Naoko Takeuchi ★★★

Pretty Guardian Sailormoon Vol 12 by Naoko Takeuchi ★★★★

The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March ★★★★★

Her Mad Hatter Kingdom Series (Hall): Book 1 by Marie Hall ★★★


Books I read: 9

This is a nice rise from few months ago, but the busy schedule is still keeping me from reading as much as I would like to. I would like to up my reading to be around 10-12 a month. This will require some more serious reading planing for 2015.

5 stars: The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March



I was delighted by this graphic novel. I love DC antiheroes and heroes. This take on Catwoman made an impression on me for more than one reason. I loved the artwork and character concept. This Catwoman is a complex character and her dynamic with other characters was done perfectly. The Batman drama was a plus.

Did not finish?

I am transfering four books to be finished in January 2015

In Desert and Wilderness by Henryk Sienkeiwicz
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Delayed Penalty (The Dartmouth Cobras: Book 5) by Bianca Sommerland
Kingdom Collection: Books 1-3 by Marie Hall – 1 out of 3 done!

Genres I read in December: Manga. Graphic novel, dystopian, modern classic, space opera, urban fantasy, fairytale retelling

Biggest let down of December was Jason (Anita Blake vampire hunter book 23) by Laurel K. Hamilton.

jason book


I was super excited to find this book coming out in papaerback as a new arrival. I pre-ordered it online and jumped for joy when it arrived. I hoped to learn more about Jason and his background and I was kinda disappointed. We find out about Jason’s girlfriend JJ. She is a human, a professional dancer and prefers girls to boys. Sadly it seemed that her only reason to be in this book was to offer Anita an opportunity to deal with some girl on girl issues. JJ seems like a female version of Jason – all friendly and easygoing. It never bothered me so much before to read a book where supporting characters get so used for the sake of one main character. I love strong supporting characters and this book was like a bad revelation for me. The whole plot was summed up in three sex scenes.

The best part of the book was the intro chapter for the next book Dead Ice coming out June 4th 2015.


New book boyfriends?

I got reminded on how much I like the character of Witcher and I’m adding the books to my TBR pile.

witcher2 topless dungeon scene

Also Miles Vorkosigan has his perks.

“Miles is… Miles; close to a force of nature, climbing up out of his own pages and escaping subordination to any opinion of mine.”
— Lois McMaster Bujold

Any new jerks?

Surprisingly none this time!

Did you start any new series?

Yes 3 and I plan to continue them all when I get the chance to.

The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March

Her Mad Hatter Kingdom Series (Hall): Book 1 by Marie Hall

House of Glass Witcher Vol 1. by Paul Tobin


Did you find any new authors that you loved?

I might look out for more work from Paul Tobin and Judd Winick

Any book you would recommend?

Yes I have two recommendations from December:

The Game Catwoman New 52 Vol 1 by Judd Winick, Guillem March – for urban antiheroo DC lovers

Miles Vorkosigan saga by Lois MacMaster Bujold – space opera extraordinare


Final thoughts on December 2014

I’m glad for finishing Sailor Moon manga series in December. I’ve read a modern dystopian classic and didn’t like it, but that is ok. I was reminded on some characters I love and why I love them. The result was adding more to y reading list but that is hardly surprising. It as a good reading month!