December Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – December 2021

This December I have read:

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

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi ★★★

Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački ★★

Čitam da se pročitam by Miha Kovač ★★★★★

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

I have been totally beaten down by work and a whole week being sick that I managed to read only 4 books for the whole December. At this time I am not happy with how many books I have read and in life in general.

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

I read less books in December but strangely enough there were some memorable parts in all of them. I liked the character dynamic from The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi even though the setting was not something I could get into no matter how hard I tried. Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački gave me Wayward Pines vibes all the way and this kind of futuristic view of the future is very intriguing to me in an evolutionary sense. Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones proved to be better than expected and I loved how the character from the first book were incorporated in this one. The dialogue was particularly entertaining. Čitam da se pročitam by Miha Kovač is a book about love of reading and those always warm my heart! This last one was also my best book for December.

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

The reasons I gave 2 stars to Polaris poslednji grad by Snežana Kanački was because the book was so very short that the lack of depth for characters and world building was acutely apparent. The characters were the least impressive and I could not find a single one that felt interesting enough to keep my attention.

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

All the books I have read this December were part of my Reindeer Readathon 2021. I did not read trough all the books I have set for myself for that. Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones was the last book for my Buddy reading challenge for 2021. and I hope to write more about all the books I read with my friend in 2021. and about all the books we picked to read in 2022.

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

Two out of four books were part of a series. Castle in the Air (Howl’s Moving Castle, #2) by Diana Wynne Jones I hope to continue in 2022. with House of Many Ways (Howl’s Moving Castle, #3) by Diana Wynne Jones. I have the book ready and waiting on my shelf and feel a lot more excited about reading it after Castle in the Air. The other one I had very high hopes for: The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi. I even put it down as a 5 star prediction! There was something about the setting that I just could not get into.

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

With the year end and my over the top reading plans not fullfilled, I am left with evaluating my free time and reading plans for next year. In accordance with this my recommendation from December is to get ready for more surprises and give more chances to new authors!

Final thoughts on December 2021 reading

From December I have a pile of books left I wanted to read for Reindeer Readathon 2021 and the sad part is I am eager to read most of them. I will utilize these to create a reading TBR for January. I have lost half of the month to no reading at all and really do not like the result. Creating a fine balance between work and my reading plans is going to be a challenge and I might find myself with some disheartening results for the first few months of 2022. as well. December was busy and I did not take the time to contemplate. My sole desire from this December is to try for more, read more, do more, laugh more, enjoy more and experience more.

November Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – November 2021

This November I have read:

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

Bajki robotów by Stanisław Lem ★★★★

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

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers ★★★★

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

I’m going to go with three and a half books read in November because I’ve finished the last one in December. I am not happy with the amount and I blame work, stress and being sick 😦 I am even unusually late with this monthly reading review for the same reasons!

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

The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice was definitely the best book I’ve read in November! There are some scenes I kept comparing to the movies and I really enjoyed this book so much I am even hyped for the next book in The Vampire Chronicles! There were a lot more historical details to this book than I expected and it was so much better for it. It was even an expiring to read about some of the locations because in the midst of the global pandemic we are currently living I wanted to be able to travel.

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

Things Fall Apart ( The African Trilogy #1 ) by Chinua Achebe was the least favorite book I’ve read in November. It was not horrible or even bad – it’s just that it did not make for a great reading experience for me personally. I am glad to have read it since it was on my TBR for years. The depths and cultural innuendos were all very clear but my mind kept wanting to read about more magical and more comforting things.

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

I tried to take the November off from any reading plans and clear out my TBR. This did not turn out as I wanted since I have still not read trough Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. The first one I keep finding disappointing because of the style of writing since I expected something either more serious or more funny. And the second one is starting to really weigh on me since I have been postponing the reading for over a year now. I’m around 400 pages in and still have about 700 left to read trough. The small font and the sheer number of pages are disheartening.

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

The read trough The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice was the only progress with many book series I still have on my TBR. Foolishly I think I’ve made my reading plans for next year a bit too early since I’ve put off many of the book series for next year. For December I actually had problems finding a standalone book to read so I expect to do a bit better in this regard.

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

Stay healthy and read books at your own pace! Also Anne Rice is so underrated at the moment!

Final thoughts on November 2021 reading

Small amount of books I’ve read in November made me start facing the fact that I will not reach my reading goal for this year. I am behind in every aspect and I feel very bothered by this. It just felt like one of those months that leach energy just to go on from one day to the next. Books used to be a comfort and something to look forward to but the failure to reach my reading goals and balance the new work schedule is starting to take it’s toll. I did get a nice pile of new books I was looking forward to and hope to write about them soon to try and focus on something nice and positive.

October Book Warp Up 2021

Monthly reading review – October 2021

This October I have read:

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

Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton et al ★★★

Alien ( Alien Movie Novelizations #1 ) by Alan Dean Foster ★★★

Stoner by John Williams ★★

Jebo sad hiljadu dinara by Boris Dežulović ★★★★

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

I decided to count in one book I finished in November here and my book total with it is 5 books. This is obviously less than I had hoped but thinking on the at least two weeks of no reading at all in October I am unusually OK with this number. I remember when I would be a lot more upset with myself for reading only 5 (4,5) books for the whole month.

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

Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction and Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola was very impressive. I did not expect to like it so much at all. At first glance the artwork seemed dark and heavy but for some reason it strangely fit – maybe October mood had something to do with it. The forewords to both chapters, the artwork guide and all the extras that went with the edition I have are really adding value to my reading experience.

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

Stoner by John Williams was the first book of the month and a book club reading pick. I did not appreciate the heavy and depressing setting of the book. It was a real downer and I never like those in general. Its not my type of a story and I look for a little bit more magic in my book picks.

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

All the books I have read in October were part of a reading challenge plan. The obvious thing is I had planned for more. I am torn between wanting to add more diversity into my reading or adding more comfort picks. Lately it seems like I miss comfort picks and random reads more and more. This is making me rethink my plans for the end of the year as well. I have been left with 3 not read books out of 8 books I have planned to read in October.

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

I started with reading Hellboy finally! I am now more motivated to get the rest of them as well. I am happy with getting them at a slower pace. All other many book series I am currently reading I did not manage to fit into this October…

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

Lately I have been pulling out some books that were hidden and forgotten on my bookshelves as well as reading some library books that were on my TBR for ages. Now I have four books I am in the middle of reading of and my interest in them varies from time to time. The book look very Autumn appropriate in color. I can see my tastes books changing and I am glad for that. My recommendation based on October is to question the books on long TBR often and read the quirky books more!

Final thoughts on October 2021 reading

I am not entirely pleased with my reading total this October. I had plans for more but am trying to look at it from a positive perspective and focus on the genres of the books I have read. My reading piles include more and more library books, and even with that I still have some books from my own bookshelves that are filling me with a sense of accomplishment. The only thing that really worries me is that the book Empire of the Vampire ( Empire of the Vampire #1 ) by Jay Kristoff that I foolishly expected back in September has still not arrived. I keep including it in my reading plans for two months in a row and it feels demotivating. I keep giving it more time to arrive but will probably have to write back to Book Depository and ask what happened. I keep stalling for this because I don’t want my money back – I want the book to be here!

As the year is almost done I am trying to make some plans and review my reading goals for the 2021. I make take a one month break from Bookopoly in November and use that time to make a list of books I want to read by the end of the year. More on those plans in a separate post soon. At the moment I have a bigger pile of the books I am in the middle of reading than the pile of the books I have read in October!

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…