September Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – September 2021

This September I have read:

Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra ★★★

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor ★★★★

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

Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries #4) by Martha Wells ★★★★★

Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning ★★★

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1)by Kerri Maniscalco ★★★

The Crystal of the Wood Elves (Elfes #7) by Nicolas Jarry, Gianluca Maconi, Christina Cox-De Ravel ★★★

Half the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercrombie ★★★★

The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer ★★★★★

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ★★★★

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

This September was a busy month and I am surprised to have read ten books total. I am happy with the amount of books read and I am especially pleased with the variety of genres among the books I’ve read.

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

The biggest pleasant surprise in September was one of the last books I’ve finished in the month: The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer. A friend reader loves the K.F. Breene and I was surprised to find a translation in Croatian for this book. The best part of the book for me personally was a translation that did not suck! I could enjoy the book! The fast pace of the book was a welcome surprise and the language was fluently translated. This book hit all the right spots for me and considering I’ve went in not knowing much about it – I thought it was a children’s book, I am happy to report that I have trouble remembering the last time I enjoyed reading a translated book as much as this one! The angsty parts of the book were done just how I like them and now I am even thinking about buying a copy in Croatian and sign myself for further torture by waiting on the next book. The fact that I’m thinking about it says a lot and only those who had the misfortune of never having a book series translated till the end can fully understand why this is such a significant comment.

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

It has been quite some time since I’ve read an urban fantasy book with the main character as unlikable and annoying as the one in Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning. I tried liking her and as soon as I could come to terms with one annoying thing two new popped up! What I did have a healthy respect for was that the story was not set on the romance and that the sole purpose of the main character was not to fall for the dark mysterious brooding guy – Jericho Barrons. For the better part of the book main character Mac was a typical privileged twenty two year old American that has never known any serious hardship in her life. Pink and glitter were not the annoying parts and the “she’s a rainbow” gig was at times refreshing. What killed this book series for me and made me not want to continue reading the rest of it was the last chapter where nothing made sense in lieu of what the characters did. Getting a manicure from the person she got the manicure from seemed like something that should have happened in a chaotic dream and not the cliffhanger plot it turned out to be. 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…

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

My plans for September were elaborate and I intentionally went to make it a real challenge by participating in two different book challenges with total amount of 13 books. I read 9 of the planned books. One of the books had to be replaced because Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff did not arrive (still waiting for it). Two of the books I started on and did not finish by the end of September – one: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry was not what I expected and it is a very slow read; second: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice I started reading literally on the last day of September which makes me want to scream so bad because the book is so interesting and engaging I would like to drop everything I have to do (including going to a new job) and just spend my time reading it! One of the books I put in my plans (Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe) was for the Orilium Magical readathon challenge as a book I am supposed to read until April next year which makes it not that big of a deal for not fitting in this month.

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

This September I managed to start a new series and finish it – it is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor duology (yes, its only two books in a “series” but I don’t care because it feels good and sounds cool to have this accomplishment) I’ve officially read all the Murderbot diaries books I have and I’am already making plans to get the next two! I read three books that were first in three new series and only one of those – The Culling Trials (Shadowspell Academy #1) by K.F. Breene and Shannon Mayer I plan to continue. I felt like I forced the The Crystal of the Wood Elves (Elfes #7) by Nicolas Jarry, Gianluca Maconi, Christina Cox-De Ravel and might have enjoyed it more had I just took my time with it. I plan to continue with this graphic novel series in the future at a casual pace.

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

For September my recommendation is variety in genres with some casual sprinkle of the books and authors you know you will love and enjoy. Reading a good book gives me more energy and makes me more passionate in my search for the next great book. I love letting myself be surprised by actually liking the book I was thinking I would not like. Below is the pile of books I loved this September and recommend them to you to try out 🙂

Final thoughts on September 2021 reading

September was a hard month for me since I have started working and my hours have made me more aware of the need to plan my time for books better. I find myself wanting to pick up a book more and read for enjoyment. It came as a total surprise when the books I though I would not like turned out to be awesome and something I can look forward to. I think I did good with the number of books total I have read and I am especially happy with the amount of different genres and topics I have read in September. Not all of the books I have read in September were something I would casually pick to read and enjoy but I am glad to have had an opportunity to experience reading the books that others think highly of and enjoy. In this way, I can report that I have grown as a reader enough to appreciate that, while some books are not my thing, they have a value outside the genres and topics I usually go for comfort reading. I consider these occasional excursions into genres and topics I consider “not my cup of tea” to be a good educational choice that gives me insight into how my reading personality evolves trough the years.

And how was your reading this last month?

August Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – August 2021

This August I have read:

Lord Mord by Miloš Urban ★★★

Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs ★★★★★

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

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

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny ★★★

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell ★★★★

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

This August things did not go as planned and while I expected to read less than in July (in July I rad 14! books) I an not so happy with reading more than half the number of books less.

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

Strangely the book that stayed with me for the better part of August was Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny. I got pulled in the authors post apocalyptic world despite the many scientific flaws I thought I found there. This August I decide to ignore such small flaws in plot execution in favor of thinking about ideas. This applied most to the A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell where I oved the mythology and ideas the authors brought to light in their stories. Book I enjoyed best was Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs and I am happy the series is still bringing me so much joy and satisfaction to read!

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

I have read only six books in august but only one left a bad aftertaste – Lord Mord by Miloš Urban. This was such a man’s book. It shows the audacity of privileged men in a man’s world. Most of the book was filled with probably historically accurate but still annoyingly misogynistic characters and character choices. I had different expectations and was let down.

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

I messed up my plans for the Merlin Readathon by reading books in wrong order but ended up finishing most of the books I planned by the end of the month. If you want to know more about my Merlin Readathon experience you can read all about it HERE. I even had a few last days of August where I spent not reading anything because I did not want to start a new book and not finish it by the end of the month. This was slightly frustrating since I was already making plans for September and had some interesting books but was holding off from reading…

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

I brought two book series I am currently reading up to date: Simon Snow book 3 by Rainbow Rowell and Mercy Thompson book 12 by Patricia Briggs. Only other book I read that was a part of a series is First Girl Child book 1 in the The Chronicles of Saylok by Amy Harmon. I am not sure if I will read the second book.

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

Like I already mentioned August was all about ideas and managing my own expectations. It is a part of my effort to try and focus on positive things in a world that keeps highlighting the negative. To some this might seem like I’m lowering my bookish standards but I will keep trying to find the positive and good in all the books I am reading. I am already making a selection on what to read by choosing some books over others and this is enough for me.

Final thoughts on August 2021 reading

After reading fourteen books in July, August was a big fall dawn to only six books. I am again well behind on my goal to read 100 books by the end of the year. I am not feeling very happy about that and I feel that the reminder of my reading goal on Goodreads is staring at me all the time – talk about self induced pressure :/

Now for some statistics: the six books I read were all together 2193 pages which is almost 1500 pages less than July. Most of the books I read in August had a little over 300 pages each with two exceptions: one book was over 500 pages and one was under 250 pages long. Half the books were in English and exactly half were in Croatian language which is a big leap for me since I used to read significantly more books in English than in Croatian. Only one book was from the library and the other five were from my own shelves. I did not read any manga or graphic novels in August. One book was a short story collection and other two were standalones. Three books, half of them were part of a book series. Total average rating of all the books I have read in August is 3,6.

And how was your reading in August?

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.

June Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – June 2021

This June I have read:

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 ★★★★★

Školski knjižničar by Dinka Kovačević, Jasmina Lovrinčević ★★★★★

The Lives of Saints (Grishaverse) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

Dark Prince: Author’s Cut (The “Dark” Carpathian book 1) by Christine Feehan ★ DNF

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells ★★★★

Micah (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

The Dynasty of the Dark Elves ( Elves Vol. 5) by Marc Hadrien, Ma Yi, Olivier Héban ★★★★★

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

I had plans to read ten books and I read ten books. The amount I am happy with, but these are not all books I planned to read…On the bright side: I made a major break trough with finally finishing one of the books from my long postponed TBR Jar Draw reading project!

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

I was intimidated by Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins for around a year or so. It turned out a much better book than I expected and I found myself enjoying it! I expected to love I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider and my expectations were met. I found much enjoyment and inspiration in the book. Micah (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton was a lot better than I remembered, but then I may be a bit biased when it comes to Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books series in general. I ended a month on a high not with The Dynasty of the Dark Elves ( Elves Vol. 5) by Marc Hadrien, Ma Yi, Olivier Héban. I loved coming back to this awesome graphic novel series and loved it so much that I Have already made plans for reading the next one in July.

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

The sole and biggest let down for me this month was Dark Prince: Author’s Cut (The “Dark” Carpathian book 1) by Christine Feehan. This book was on my TBR for almost a decade and when the opportunity to get the “Authors Cut” Kindle edition arose I jumped at the chance. The characters were so underdeveloped and the dialogue was so annoying I had to stop torturing myself and DNFed this book at exactly half of it! I tried giving it all the chances but I just realized I was wasting time on the book that is not getting any better for me and wasting time I could be reading a book I actually enjoy. I cant remember the last time I decided to not finish a book like this but in the end I felt relieved since I really tried and I don’t feel guilty about it!

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

In June I made plans to read 5 books for Bookopoly and 10 books for Whatever-You-Want-A-Thon reading challenge. I did NOT have to go with 10 books! Going for 10 books was not a very smart decision! I read some of the books I planned to read and then some things I did not plan on happened and I lost a whole week preparing for a test and reading books for that. I read most of what I have planned on reading: I read 7 books that I planned on reading, 1 book I DNFed and I read another 2 books that I did not plan on reading. 1 book I planned on reading has been left out because I wanted more time to enjoy it and not just read trough it quickly. And 1 book I am currently still reading from that list.

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

I have finally started on The Witcher series and The Murderbot Diaries – both are on my buddy reading project. The Lives of Saints is the last Leigh Bardugo book I had to read connected to the Grishaverse. Dark Prince: Author’s Cut (The “Dark” Carpathian book 1) by Christine Feehan is one book series I will not be reading anymore and since it has a bunch of books I am glad to cross it off my TBR and the lists of books to buy. My second reading of Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series is progressing nicely and I managed to read Micah (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton and enjoy it more than I thought I would.

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

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1) by Martha Wells was a nice surprise and the short format make it a fast and enjoyable read. Most of the books in the series have won genre awards and I recommend them for those who love science fiction and those who are like me and are picky about science fiction books they choose to read. Grant Snyder and his book I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf is super fun and intelligent book for book lovers and all who are interested in the book business.

Final thoughts on June 2021 reading

I am not totally happy with my reading in June. I managed to squeeze in all ten books as planned but I was forced to shuffle some and change others so I get the number ten. I had to put in some literature for the exam I was preparing instead of one book and I DNFed a book. One book I was planning to read I am still reading and will finish later in July and instead of that I put in a graphic novel to meet the quota. On week of reading was marred by trying to read a book I ended up not finishing and letting go and one other week I spent reading the stuff I did not plan on. I will elaborate a bit more on the detail in the next Bookopoly and Whatever-You-Want-A-Thon reading challenge review posts.

The Hedge Knight: The Tales of Dunk and Egg by George R.R. Martin I am still reading and A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell I was soo looking forward to but it was left untouched and will be postponed for some other more opportune time when I will be able to enjoy it more!

June experience aside I have made plans and new lists of books to read in July. There are even some reading challenges involved so stay tuned and wish me luck!

May Book Wrap Up 2021

Monthly reading review – May 2021

This May I have read:

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

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

Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić ★★★

Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book #12) by Laurell K. Hamilton  ★★★★

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

Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show
by Glenn Yeffeth (Editor) ★★★★

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

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

First I would like to address my lack of activity on the posting in the last month and more. Life happened and then my mobile phone got messed up and I could not take pictures and upload them the way I wanted to. It all filled me with anxiety and I was inactive for most of the time. I have not realized I relayed on my phone this much. I hope to make some more posts in June to make up for all the things I wanted to post about and more!

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

In May I finished reading eight books. This leaves me with only The Count of Monte Christo as currently “reading in progress” book that I keep dragging on from one month to the next. Eight books in a month is a nice number and I will try to keep up with it!

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

Revisiting first book in the Harry Potter series was nice even though I read it only last year. I keep being surprised on how much I enjoy The Adventures of Miles Vorkosigan and this slow pace at which I read trough the series in whole is more like a guilty pleasure for me. I am glad I finally got to reading Seven Seasons of Buffy book of essays and enjoyed it for the most part.

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

There were not bad books in May, just a few that did not rise up to my expectations. Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić made me long for stronger characters and less philosophical approach to the theme. Proklete Hrvatice : (1&2) : Dvadeset životopisa by Milana Vuković Runjić I am happy to have read but feel that the author could have done a bit more in highlighting the females from the history – some stories were done greatly and some lost the focus in comparison.

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

I approached my reading plan for May with caution because I wanted it to be successful. I managed to read all the books I planned to read and even finish one of the books I had started before May. Only thing that would have made it better would have been reading trough more of The Count of Monte Christo which sadly did not happen. I finished booth the Bookopoly TBR game and May The Force Read with You readathon!

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

I got one book series up to date with finishing Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #17) by Kresley Cole. My reareading trough Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series is taking a back seat for a while but I do plan to add the next book to my reading plans soon. Finishing The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold has made another step small step in reading trough this truly enjoyable space adventure book series.

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

I read two nonfiction books in May and I always feel a certain satisfaction when I finish reading one of those. My recommendation this time is to read more books that give your inner reader feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. In my case these were the books I made plans to read and even have been on my TBR for quite some time so it felt really good to finish reading them!

Final thoughts on May 2021 reading

I am happy with my reading in May. I read six new books and two more books I read before already. For the first time in a long while a number of books I’ve read in one month in English language is the same as the number of books I read in Croatian language. I already have plans for more posts and reading options in June and I am excited for that! Here are some illustrations by Zdenko Basic from the Croatian edition of Clockwork or all wound up by Philip Pullman.

February Book Wrap Up 2021

Monthly reading review – February 2021

This February I have read:

The Book of Lies (Twins Trilogy #1-3) by Ágota Kristóf ★★

The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy ★★★

Radiance (Wraith Kings book 1) by Grace Draven ★★★★★

Rafael (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 28) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Eidolon (Wraith Kings book 2) by Grace Draven ★★★★

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

MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik ★★

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

In February I have read seven books and made some progress with my small pile of “currently reading” books. I finished off some books I’ve been dragging on and I am generally happy with the amount of books I read in a month I decided to take it slow.

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

The most enjoyable book this February was Rafael (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book 28) by Laurell K. Hamilton. I loved how many of my favorite characters got page time and I like the concept of where this long book series is going from the perspective of this book. One other book that came as a nice surprise was Radiance (Wraith Kings book 1) by Grace Draven. It was a spur of an impulse romance read I stumbled on a Goodreads recommendation list and I love it!

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

There were some books that were hard for me to read this month and the one that gave me most grief was The Book of Lies (Twins Trilogy #1-3) by Ágota Kristóf. As usual this was my book club pick for next month but since our book club meetings are held at the start of the month I read it in February. The topic was very heavy and I really did not like the narrative style. The other book I did not like in February was MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik. I think I had higher expectations and I let it drag out as leftover from last year. All together it made a not so great impression on me.

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

My plan for February was taking it easy and trying to catch up and finish up some of the books I was in the middle of reading of. I managed to finish two of those books and made some progress with the other two I still have in my back log. With all this I read my book club assignment and even got four other books in.

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

I got Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series up to date in the month the new book came out and that made me very happy. I found a new Kindle book series that caught my attention and have read two out of three books available which is great! I finally got to Forgotten Realms: The Fighters book series that has been on my shelves for a very long time now and I will have to wait for the next opportunity to get to the next book in the series.

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

The best book surprise for me this month was Wraith Kings book series by Grace Draven. I love how I gave it a try after finding it on some random recommendation list on Goodreads. I also love that it is an older book – it came out in 2015! My recommendation is to give new books and authors a try anytime you get the chance! Chances are you have probably never heard of Grace Draven or many other authors that write romance fantasy since there are so many of them and most don’t get the spotlight or the print book deals. Show them love by giving their books a chance and spread the word when you find a book or an author whose writing you enjoy! I hope to read the next book of the series The Ippos King (Wraith Kings book 3) by Grace Draven soon!

Final thoughts on February 2021 reading

I am glad I opted to take the time in February to slow down and reevaluate my reading goals and take some time to get my books under some semblance of control. I think this gave me some new ideas and energy to put them to work. I would have loved to have finished off at least one more back log book but I feel like I made some progress and that is what is important to me. February was an eventful reading month for me and I hope to continue to March with my vigor renewed!

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…

December Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – December 2020

This December I have read:

Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones ★★★★

Pride (Shifters #3) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★★

Prey (Shifters #4) by Rachel Vincent ★★★★★

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years #1) by Gregory Maguire ★★★

Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #10) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu ★★★

Naked City by Ellen Datlow (Editor) ★★★★

Saga (Collected Editions) #7-9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples ★★★★★

The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo #3) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo #5) by Rick Riordan ★★★★★

The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett ★★★

Taken by The Hunger (Blood Thirst Affair #1) by Harnet Spade ★

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

This December I made myself very busy by reading 13 books total! In order to get all my reading plans done I was off by a few books I ran out of time to read and even with all that I think I did better than I expected! I am pleased with all the books I have read in December and how many of them from my own shelves!

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

There were quite the few books I enjoyed this month and the one I liked best was Saga (Collected Editions) #7-9 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples. There were some moments in this epic space graphic novel that shook me and as a whole I think it was the most memorable book I read this month. I kept being amazed at the artwork in the book and at times it just sang the song of the times we are currently in!

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

I had a lot of luck with the Kindle freebies and new stories and authors I tried out so far. This December after quite some time I ended up finding and reading a book that just felt bad and was the least enjoyable book this month: Taken by The Hunger (Blood Thirst Affair #1) by Harnet Spade. It takes a lot for me to rate a book with only one star and nothing about this one could crank it higher no matter how I looked at it. The narrative was chaotic and most of it was angst ridden and sex crazed female main character jumping from one male character to the next without actually having any real sex at all. From any point of view I tried to look at it this story failed to deliver.

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

I was very aware that my reading plans by the end of the year left too many books for December. I ended up prioritizing for the two reading challenges and reading less books for the third one. I think I did good managing and finished two out of three reading challenges!

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

I did good on continuing some series and even finishing some! I finished with The Trials of Apollo book series by Rick Riordan and brought an end to more than a few book series from the Percy Jackson universe. I am happy about it and feel ready for the Disney+ TV series next year. I also read all the Saga volumes that are available to me and happily wait for new ones! Four of the books I have read this month were first in a series and from them I plan to continue only one: Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones. Shifters series by Rachel Vincent was amazing and I plan to finish the last two books of the series in the first few months of next year. I even managed to squeeze in one book of second reading of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series!

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

There are some books I enjoy as a guilty pleasure and would not recommend them to everyone but I could not recommend Saga graphic novel series enough! The story is amazing and at times endearing and heart breaking. The artwork and design is thought provoking and cuts straight to the things we might overlook otherwise. It sometimes comes out as gritty and harsh on the eyes as well as the heart but it does so well showing what life can be and how we need to cherish it and smile while we still have teeth!

Final thoughts on December 2020 reading

I had a lot of books I set myself to read this December. Sadly I knew that my plans had very little chance to be fully realized. I am happy with the amount of books I managed to read in December. There were some books I choose to let go in favor of finishing some others. I managed to finish two reading challenges out of three and I will post details on those in a day or two. I was not very active in making post since I tried to use as much as possible time for reading. I had run trough some books and had to work for it to finish them. I did make one review this December for:

Naked City by Ellen Datlow (Editor) ★★★★

You can read it HERE.

After quite some time I have accumulated a good number of books I am in progress of reading:

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

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

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

MOR – Plodovi osvete by Josip Kralik

I will have to slow down from adding new book challenges until I cull the books I am in progress of reading at the moment! I have plans for some other overviews for reading challenges I have done trough the year and finally making some updates to the parts of the site I have been neglecting. I hope my plans become reality soon!

November Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – November 2020

This November I have read:

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

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

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

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

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ★★

The Reclusive Earl (Marriage by Fate #1) by Ruth Ann Nordin ★★★

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black ★★★★★

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales #2) by Eloisa James ★★★★★

Beauty (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #20.5) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Ardeur: 14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

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

In November I have read 10 books. I read all five books for my Bookopoly TBR Game in first two and a half weeks and slacked for almost a week. I could have made more progress with some of the books I wanted to read by the end of the year so I’m in for a joy ride in December!

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

This November was full of great books for me. Some were a surprise and some exceeded my expectations! I was anxious about Wayward Son but was soon nicely surprised by very relatable characters and got very emotionally involved with the story as well. The Borders of Infinity provided me with more happy reading moments than expected and gifted me with newfound appreciation for the author and her writing style.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories was a my happy surprise for November! I knw I would love it and I preordered the beautiful Waterstone edition and it was a first time I ordered anything from Waterstones ever! My preorder came almost a week early and I devoured it in two days even though I was trying to pace myself a bit slower and read some parts more than once!

Also my Kindle reads this month made the top marks for me as well. I am surprised at how much my reading experience in November was good.

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

The Phantom of the Opera started out promising but I had trouble getting into the setting of the story. The architecture and the theater were just so surreal to me. I could not stop pitting the writing style with the more modern books and it did not end well for The Phantom of the Opera.

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

I already mentioned that I went trough my monthly readathon challenge a lot faster than I anticipated and blown the rest of the month away not reading anything from my huge pile of books I choose for my personal reading challenge by the end of the year. I can’t stop thinking I could have done better but I guess now that I look at it I had way to much fun in my other reading to complain!

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

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories was like a cake topping after reading the rest of the series and I loved it. Wayward Son got me really excited in waiting on the next book to come out. The Borders of Infinity reminded me that I still have so many book from the Miles Vorkosigan saga I still need to read! I started one new book series with The Scent of Shadows and I plan to continue it next year. Reading Beauty (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #20.5) helped me with going back on track and wanting to continue my reread of the whole series even though this particular novella is a bit out of order since I need to continue with another book of the series!

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

I have so many great books on my bookshelves and my goal of reading more books I own is something I am constantly working on. This is a personal goal and it helped me a lot with reading more books I enjoy and feel better about reading the books from my own bookshelves. My recommendation is to set more personal reading goals and reflect on books you enjoy more often!

Final thoughts on November 2020 reading

I was spazzing out and not making many posts this November and I get that way when I get lost in the books I read. I will have to work on this more actively! Wish me luck!

September Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – September 2020

This September I have read:

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★

Snow: A Reverse Harem Fairytale Romance Series by Plum Pascal ★★★

Push by Sapphire ★★★★

Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward ★★★

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma ★★

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

This September I have read six books. My reading has dropped last month to almost half of my reading pile from August. September was slow reading month and I don’t feel good about that at all…

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

As it turned out the book that I gave the highest rating this September was the only book I’ve read this month that is from my own bookshelves and it is also my second reading of the said book: Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton. I enjoyed reading this book most and the only thing that made a bad impression was the random chapter preview for the next book at the end of Obsidian Butterfly. The random chapter for the next book was so out of sync with everything that happened in Obsidian Butterfly that made me reluctant to pick up the next book of the series in my rereading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series project!

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

This September a friend from book club provided me with some books from the library since I’m not a member of the library anymore. I am unemployed and paying my library membership is way outside of my budget for now. Half of the books I’ve read this September were from the library, only one of them was for my book club assignment: The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. I rated it two stars because I felt totally disconnected from the characters or the plot. The crude and brutal details of the book put me off and I could not understand most of the book at all. I hope book club discussion sheds some light on things that I missed out on…

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

What I did in September was try out the Becca’s Bookopoly Readathon with my bookish friend. You can check out Becca’s announcement for the readathon and give her some love HERE. I actually made a board for the game myself while she printed out Becca’s board. We even used Discord for a video chat and a second camera phone to throw dice for each other! We both rolled five times to get five books to read in September and all five books were the one’s I’ve read while the sixth book was the book club assignment! While I went with the plan by the letter I can’t help but feel a bit deflated with my reading in September.

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

From the six books I’ve read only two were part of the series. I am glad I finally got to read a novella Father Mine from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I got the first four books from the series long time ago and did not like it enough to decide to continue the series. I was very interested for this novella because it featured the only character from the series I liked – Zsadist. Obsidian Butterfly was a part of my rereading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series and it has kinda put that project on hold for now :/

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

I’m glad I finally got to read some books from the library I was interested in but not enough to actually buy them. I remembered how much I like reading poetry and should explore more of it. Every reader should try to read poetry from time to time. I have some favorite older authors like super melancholic Ana Ahmatova and tend to be a bit cautious with new poets.

Final thoughts on September 2020 reading

September was a very slow month for me both in creativity and reading. My posts were nonexistent and while I kept myself busy I just could not summon inspiration for posting any content. I hope to get more of the books from my own bookshelves in for October. I feel that reading books from my own bookshelves makes me more content with my reading and inspired to produce more content. It is strange that now that I am not a member of the library I have read more books from the said library than in the few month when I actually was a member of my local library! Also half of the books I’ve read this September were Croatian translation and I mostly read books in English!