The Olympic Games reading challenge 2021

This year I am happy to participate in The Olympic Games reading challenge second year in a row. I had a lot of fun last year and I like the thematic ties with Percy Jackson universe by Rick Riordan no matter how small they may seem – anyone who did not read the books would have no trouble participating. You can check out the YouTube Challenge Announcement HERE and give Ishi Time and her channel some love and attention.

I like the mythology theme a lot! Last year I went with Hades as a patron god of choice. You can check out my thoughts and experiences for it HERE. Some of the prompts this year are a bit more tricky to fit a book in but I decided to stick with Hades once more! There is a bit less focus on the undead in the prompts this year and my choice of books is all over the place.

Hades prompt 1 – Read a stand alone

Kako ste? by Barbara Matejčić

This book has a relatively dark cover and is a stand alone. It is also my book club pick for the month of July so I’m fitting it in here as well! The theme is a bit on the heavy side and deals with life issues and stories from people who are dealing with hurt, pain and prejudice in general. I was warned of the content being hard and serious. This is definitely not a light summer read but I hope the book discussion on our meeting is worth it.

Hades prompt 2 – Read a book with a dark cover

Time Weaver (Drakon #5) by Shana Abe

The last book in a fantasy series about dragon shapeshifters. Some of the books from the series I absolutely loved and some were underwhelming. I stayed with the book series and I am hoping this last book will be a good one! The cover has a dark background with a pale hand and some dark read flower and some jewelry in the center. It looks dark enough for me.

Hades prompt 3 – Random TBR book

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

I pulled this book out of my long forgotten TBR Jar Draw. I am not that pleased with this choice but it fits the dark undead theme. I am not a fan of horror genre and this book might prove a real challenge for me in July! What worries me the most is the Croatian translation that is considered beyond bad. I might even be tempted to find an edition in English and get rid of my copy of the book permanently if I find it to be that bad.

Hades prompt 4 – Book with a character that hides their identity

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

The main character of this book series is a AI unit that has hacked its module and escaped. It refer to itself as “Murderbot” and likes to procrastinate and watch futuristic soap opera. It is unlike any other SF I have read and I liked the first part a lot! Murderbot is incognito and is on a journey across the wast space in the distant future. If anyone is to find out that its module has been hacked they would probably hunt it down and reprogram it back again. I think this fits the category of a hidden identity.

Hades prompt 5 – Book with a wealthy character

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Of all the prompts and books for this reading challenge this one I had the hardest time choosing. In the end I went with the main characters being a king and a future queen as a point of them being wealthy. I got this book for my Kindle when it was on sale because I had it on my wishlist for a hardcover edition. The reviews are either hate it or love it mostly. I like when the books have that kind of range among audience. This book has a dark cover, is a stand alone and has what I consider wealthy characters.

Like last year there are some bonus challenges to be read after these first five books. There is only one change in prompts for them from last year. But unlike last year they are not limited to certain patron gods – last year each patron god had two offered bonus challenges and now they are all available to everyone no matter what patron god they choose.

I chose a few books that fit the bonus challenges I liked and added them to the list below. I have listed them in the order I want to read them in. I am also aware that I might not get to read all of them and will probably read them in completely different order by the time I start reading them at all…

Bonus challenge prompt: Pegasus Riding – A book published within the last 5 years

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

This book is a graphic novel created and self published as a Kickstarter project back in 2018. That was less than 4 years ago and it fits the prompt. I like seeing a Kickstarter project do so well and get published and translated like this one did. I bought the printed version and I hope I will like it!

Bonus challenge prompt: Archery – A book shorter than 200 pages

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

I had to look hard to find a book under 200 pages on my book shelves. The one I was going to pick was just slightly over with 208 pages! Then I had another choice but in the end I went with this one since it is one of the never books on my shelf and I am curious about it.

Bonus challenge prompt: Climbing the Wall – The next book in the series

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

I decided to add another book from this series to this month! I have first four books in The Murderbot series and at this pace I might be buying some more sooner than expected!

Bonus challenge prompt: Sword&Shield – A book featuring a character I would not get along with

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

This is a part of my second reading trough the Anita Blake book series and my attitude toward the main character is very complicated. I would definitely not get along with the main character but I do love reading this series! This book is a bit on the chubby side and I might not be bale to finish it in time or even get to it.

Bonus challenge prompt: Capture the Flag – One of your most anticipated books

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

Now we are threading deeply into the territory of wishful thinking! This book is coming out in the first week of July and I have preordered it. I have no clue if it’s going to even arrive by the end of the July let alone if I am going to read it by then. I just wanted to add it to the list because I could!

I hope I get trough all of the books I want to read this July. They make a really big pile and I still have to add the books from Bookopoly and my next posts! Wish me luck for I will need it!

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!

Bookopoly TBR game – November and December 2020

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

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

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

Prompt: Nature on the Cover

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

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

Prompt: Chance card

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

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

Prompt: TBR Veteran

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

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

Prompt: Disability representation

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

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

Prompt: Young Adult

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bookopoly TBR game – November 2020

This November I have decided to continue my Bookopoly TBR game and do five rolls for it to see if I can squeeze enough of the books I decided to read by the end of the year for my personal 2020 reading challenge. I have lamented how I am now behind on my goal of reading thirty books I’ve chosen from my own shelves for this year since I neglected my list for the last few months because I was ahead of schedule at the beginning of summer! Foolish I know….

Here are my five rolls for November:

Moving on from the last spot I got a high eleven roll and landed on “Nature on the cover” prompt! I was not very optimistic of finding a book that fit this and was very surprised when I saw that one of my personal reading books challenge fit it! It is The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux! The Croatian edition that I got on a sale matched with a yellow rose on the cover! This is going to be an interesting read for sure!

My next roll was seven and it made me land on another “Chance” spot! After a well shuffle of my originally 16 prompt cad deck I dealt myself one card that said: The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson. This is the first book from one of my urban fantasy book series I own and did not start on yet. I am a little apprehensive on what will happen if I really like the series and feel the need to read the next book in the series! I also have another three books from this series just to be safe! I will probably read this book last in case I don’t get pulled in and neglect the rest of the books!

My next roll was eight and it got me landed on a prompt for “TBR veteran” This prompt gave me options since I have a lot of books that are on my TBR for years! Since the date on most of them is reset to the date when I transferred from Shelfari to Goodreads the choices were really good too! I decided to go with The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold I managed to choose a book that also fit my personal reading challenge for this year as well so that makes me very happy and hopeful! The whole book series I have on my bookshelves is translated Croatian edition which is one of the rare book series that are almost completely translated! All the covers for the books from an old and now gone publisher Algoritam, are drawn by Esad T. Ribić, an artist who did some very popular Marvel comics as well!

My fourth roll was another seven and it got me landed on a “Disability representation” prompt field. While my previous choice for TBR veteran could have been a valid choice for this prompt as well; I decided to use another book! My choice for this prompt is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The main character is autistic teenager that gets involved in some mysterious accident with a neighbors dog. Mark Haddon is an author I have not read before and there are some new books he wrote that seem very interesting to me. I hope this will be a book that will introduce me to a new author soon to become a favorite! This is another book that I have a Croatian edition of and I got it quite cheap at a library book sale! I keep trying to push for my book club to read this book and I hope that I will have more luck with that after I read it!

My last roll was another seven and it brought me full circle back to the “Young Adult” prompt! I decided to keep going with the same theme and picked out Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell. Last book I chose for the “Young Adult” prompt was also by Rainbow Rowell and it was closely connected to this one – Fangirl. I find the connection between the Simon Snow book series and the Fangirl novel intriguing and refreshing. I admire the author for deciding to make a book about a girl who is a fanfiction writer for her favorite fantastic book series and then later publish that fantastic book series in accordance with tropes that are mostly defined in fanfiction. I read the first book in the summer and I hope that I will be able to get into the story easy.

I am happy to have managed to squeeze in four out of five books for this challenge from the list of books of my personal reading challenge for this year! And I also must admit that I am pleased with the variety of themes and genres I managed to get in these five books. I hope to read more books this November when I finish all these!

So far this Bookopoly TBR game has proven to be a great way for me to enjoy my reading hobby with a friend. And while I have been lucky have not rolled a single double number on the dice, she was not so lucky. She has had some issues with completing her reading challenge because life got in the way of reading. Here is me hoping she will not quit on me and keep trying to enjoy her reading and our little bookish activity!

October Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – October 2020

This October I have read:

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★

Stone and Fire (Magical Kingdoms #1) by Marie Robinson ★★★

The Chosen Half-Elf (Elfes #4) by Éric Corbeyran, Jean-Paul Bordier ★★★★

U krevetu s vješticom – Najljepše ljubavne horor priče by Milana Vuković Runjić ★★★★

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos ★★★

Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge, #1) by Elizabeth Strout ★★★

Tempting the Bluestocking (A Gentleman Courtesans Novella) by Victoria Vale ★★★★

Portrait of a Lady (The Gentleman Courtesans #1) by Victoria Vale ★★★★★

Masquerade (Scandalous Ballroom Encounters #1) by Victoria Vale ★★★★

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

Misadventures of a Backup Bride (Misadventures #2) by Shayla Black ★★

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

This October I have read 11 (eleven!) books. I am quite pleased with that number.

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

My best book in October was Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo. I even made a book review on it and you can check out my thoughts and reading experience HERE.

I’ve enjoyed most of the books I’ve read in October and another that stayed with me as a really good was a Kindle freebie Portrait of a Lady (The Gentleman Courtesans #1) by Victoria Vale. The idea of Gentleman Courtesans was an intriguing one and I might decide to buy and read the rest of the books some day.

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

My least favorite book in October was Misadventures of a Backup Bride (Misadventures, #2) by Shayla Black. This was a buddy read book with a friend and we picked it up for fun not really knowing much about it except that it is an adult light read. I got my copy from the library and I had some real issues with Croatian translation. I don’t believe the spirit of banter and jokes got translated into the book all that well and that also had impact on my reading experience. The plot and the characters were underwhelming and kind off basic for me to take interest in them.

Another book that made my reading experience in October less than great was Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. The main reason for my displeasure was that it took me over ten days to finish it and made me lose one third of the month on just one book. The reading was slow and I was enjoying the thirty something pages of foreword and the notes on the author more than the actual book…

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

I have managed to read all the books I choose for my October readathons: Sbooktober Readathon and Bookopoly TBR game. I did great with using the same books for prompts in both of the reading challenges to my advantage and that let me read a few more books outside of my plans as well! You can see my post for Sbooktober Readathon HERE and for the Bookopoly TBR game HERE for more info.

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

I read a few first books of some new series and from those I have high expectations for Alex Stern by Leigh Bardugo even though the next book is yet to be announced. The Gentleman Courtesans series got my attention and I hope to continue reading them but I’m not in any hurry for them. I am specially glad to have continued with the graphic novel series Elves and will try to read a few more of them by the end of the year!

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

The author Victoria vale caught my attention and I have read several of her works this October. It was a Kindle freebie I liked a lot and I am glad for taking chances with new authors like that! Again Leigh Bardugo has completely won me over by her book and I will keep buying and reading anything that woman publishes! It took me years to give her a chance since I only started reading her books one year ago and they have been popular quite longer than that! Give new and unknown authors a chance whenever you can!

Final thoughts on October 2020 reading

Even though I have read eleven books I managed to avoid any books that were on my personal reading challenge for this year! Only three books were from my actual physical bookshelves and the rest of them were either in digital form or borrowed! While it was an interesting month for reading I did not make much progress with Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons by Andy Collins, Skip Williams, James Wyatt or The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas which I am reading since the middle of summer. For next month I plan to do better in that regard!

Bookopoly TBR game – September and October 2020

This October I’m deciding to continue last months Bookopoly TBR game with my friend and we will probably try to make it a permanent TBR game each month. We got the idea from Becca and the Books and her Bookopoly Readathon for September. You can give her YouTube channel some love HERE. We decided to make five rolls each month.

Here is what I got to read so far in September for Bookopoly TBR:

My first roll was a six and I landed on a Dark Cover prompt! The book I chose for the prompt was Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★.

My second roll landed me to a prompt for Audio or E-Book. Since I don’t really listen to audio books I was happy to go with and e-book! I picked out a novella Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward ★★★ I’ve been meaning to read this novella since I’ve read the third book in the series. While I decided that it was not a series for me I was interested in the main characters of the novella!

Third roll got me Adult prompt. There were a lot of books I could have picked out for this prompt but since lately I’ve been reading less digital books than I used to I decided to go with a Kindle freebie Snow: A Reverse Harem Fairytale Romance Series by Plum Pascal ★★★

Fourth roll landed me with a Sad book prompt. This got me really frustrated since I really did not want to read sad books. I was thinking on revising the whole Bookopoly board and remove this prompt completely. In the end I let it stay since I rolled it and went with a book I tried reading once before but it was to depressing to continue. It was Push by Sapphire ★★★★

Last roll for September was a Community Shelf spot. Out of the sixteen specific prompt cards I pulled out one labelled Poetry. For my poetry book I went with another library book I was interested a while back but never actually got to it: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur ★★★★

These were my five books I choose to read in September with the help of a Bookopoly TBR game. Since it turned out a to be a game both my friends and I were looking forward to at the start of the next month we decided to keep it going and see how we gonna do for October!

Here are my five rolls for October:

Moving on from last spot I rolled a five and landed on a Chance card spot. From the sixteen cards with a specific book from my TBR I pulled an older classic which intimidates me: Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos

My next roll made me pass GO and land on a Lowest Rated spot. According to Goodreads I have quite a few not so well known or liked books on my bookshelves. My choice from the prompt ended out to be U krevetu s vješticom – Najljepše ljubavne horor priče by Milana Vuković Runjić. It is a short story collection with a trashy cover and a cringey horror theme.

Third roll for October got me a second Chance card spot. My Chance card deck had fifteen cards left and I pulled a graphic novel The Chosen Half-Elf (Elfes #4) by Éric Corbeyran, Jean-Paul Bordier. It is the fourth instalment in a digital graphic novel series I only recently discovered!

Once again my roll got on the E-Book or Audio prompt. I was browsing trough my kindle library and ended up choosing Stone and Fire (Magical Kingdoms #1) by Marie Robinson. I was in the mood for some fantasy and dragons are most appealing right at the moment!

My last roll for October got me a Young Adult prompt. I used this chance to finally read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I borrowed this book from a friend months ago and since I’ve been doing reading challenges most of the time I just never managed to get to it. I hope to be able to give it back with a chocolate and an apology for keeping it unread for so long!

While I used to be a lot more demanding in my reading – I preferred to read around ten books a month at least! – this Bookopoly TBR game lets me enjoy fun TBR game and share it with a friend who actually has a job and a life and would have a hard time reading so many books in a month. I’m happy to have a friend I can share this type of activity with. And I can always find time and more books to read aside this TBR challenge. For October I have already chosen another reading challenge and we can both try to fit in with this one.

But that is a topic for another post!

June reading challenge 2 – Olympic Games

Second reading challenge I decided to participate in this June is The Olympic Games hosted by Ishi Time. You can check out her channel and the challenge announcement HERE. This reading challenge lasts for the whole month of June. What pulled me in to add this challenge as soon as I discovered it was that it is thematically tied to the world of Percy Jackson and I looove those books!

Here is the Camp Half Blood Letter for more details!

For my patron God I picked out Hades. I like my books a bit on the darker side and Hades fits nicely with the books I can choose from my bookshelves. To honor my patron deity I have a list of five prompts I need to read books for. Again I will concentrate only on my own reading journey and not explain other prompts and deities prompts. I love that the order I complete the books is up to me and that there are some advanced challenges after I finish the five mandatory ones! Here is what my patron Hades is all about!

Hades prompt 1. – book featuring the undead

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #2) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I’m stealing this book from the Make Your Myth-Taker challenge and it fits perfectly here as well!

Hades prompt 2. – reread a book

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #3) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I decided to reread this series long ago and this might be a good time to add another book of the series. also I kinda like how the theme fits to Hades a s well.

Hades prompt 3. – book with a dark cover

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K. Rowling

I made a plan to make as many crossovers with the Make Your Myth-Taker reading challenge that I’m not even ashamed how well I am pulling it all off! I plan on fitting the other Harry Potter book with another prompt as well!

Hades prompt 4. – random TBR book

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

My random book of the month just happened to be a part of three different challenges this month! Since this book is actually collection of three different books by three different authors and also almost 700 pages long I will not even try to hide how well I am pairing these books to my reading challenges in June!

Hades prompt 5. – Any Hermes prompt – snake on the cover

I choose snake on the cover prompt since it gave me the most room to plan my reading this month – I was surprised when I realized this as well! There were three books I will be reading this month that have snakes on the cover! I choose this snake:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

My patron Hades has two available challenges: Sword and Shield and Monster Fighting. The rule of the challenge that these are not mandatory and can be only read after the five mandatory prompts have been done already. Here are all the prompts for the advanced challenges:

Advanced Challenge 1. – Sword and Shield

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

The prompt is to read a book with characters whom I would not get along with. This prompt is a bit tricky unless you have already read the book in question so I picked out another reread. There are so many characters in this book I would not get along with. When I first read this book I was very invested in the story and on the edge constantly. There are so many conflicts between the characters and those provoked many contradictory emotions in me. It was an emotional roller coaster all the way and it did not help that it was the last book in the series I loved reading!

Advanced Challenge 2. – Monster fighting

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

This is a book I really wanted to include in this months reading so I picked it up for and advanced challenge here. I consider both Simon and Baz magical creatures for obvious reason – one has wings and a tail and the other is a vampire – also there is Penelope who is in a class of her own of how much magic she can wield.

My reading pile for June got a bit bigger now. But I am still looking forward to some great reading this month and hope to rise to the challenge! Both challenges actually!

Medieval-A-Thon Reading Challenge – Experience and thoughts

In the month of May I originally wanted to relax a little after the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April. That all changed when I spotted this challenge. You can see my first post where I choose the books and decided to participate a whole week later – HERE.

My goal for this challenge was to become an Empress and in order to do that I had to read at least seven books in May. The story of a a great Empress started with an awesome outfit to fight dragons with so I can impress the people before I cant truly become their leader!

First book I’ve read for this challenge answered to the prompt –

Dragon on the cover!

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

This was a friendly dragon and while its role in this book was not so big I truly enjoyed reading about it! Festus, whose name translates to “Happy” is an automaton bronze dragon originally created by the children of Hephastus. I will not make spoilers about what happens to Festus in this book but I will just say that my journey to become an Empress has been more amazing since I read about him! I had some trouble in starting to read this book and this reading challenge helped me with it! With this positive energy my quest to become an Empress began!

Second book I’ve read for this challenge helped me not to act like a snob and be more humble – the prompt for this book was

to read a book under 300 pages!

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

This was the best book I’ve read in May! It is the third book in a trilogy and the fact that I finished the book series was an added bonus of positive energy as well. While somebody else would probably use this prompt to take it easy I choose a book that just barely fits the requirement as it has 299 pages total by Kindle account! My goal in sight and my standards still set high I moved on to the next book.

The third book I read for this challenge allowed me to grab some weapon training

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

The first time I saw this challenge I knew I wanted these weapons! Training to fight with two weapons at once is as hard as reading a book that is part some of your not favorite genre. This book has been on my TBR plan for a very long time and the first book I read years ago. Sci Fi nature of this book as well as some rich cultural and original details made it harder to read but the reward of finishing another book series I was logging around for a long time was as rewarding as getting those two daggers and learning how to use them properly!

Next book brought me some companionship in the form of my favorite animal and by the prompt

A book that begins with a “C”

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

I knew I was going to like this book and I wanted to like it! I was looking for an excuse to add this book to my reading and had several choices for it. Pairing it with a cat companion fit nicely. Cats are perfect companions for an Empress – they hint at luxury but are very resourceful and independent as well. Every household can find cat useful and these animals are fiercely loyal and territorial which are the atributes I hold very important.

Book I decided to read next added some royal wardrobe I could really shine in and the prompt was

A shiny book

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

This shiny book was another one from my bookshelf that was weighing on me to finish a book series. As it turned out I was more of a fighter than a parading ruler or a dancer at a ball. The book did not blew me away – it was just OK. A shiny book and a shiny outfit were just OK but did not speak to me the way some other books or outfits did.

An Empress in the making that did not enjoy her shiny dresses has turned again to more unladylike ventures by acquiring her own horse to travel her kingdom and the reading prompt for this one was

A tall hardcover

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

I was a bit miffed by the prompt so I decided to get the biggest hardcover book I had on my bookshelves other than an encyclopedia. At first I was very happy with my choice. But as it turns out with serious rulers and kingdoms some things are not as easy as they look! This book proved very hard to read since it was too heavy to hold for longer periods of time and its bulkiness proved a problem. Traveling a kingdom did not prove to be an easy picnic either.

This next book proves that friends can be found in the unlikliest of places as I befriended a goat! The prompt for this one was

A book high on my bookshelf

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

This prompt was a bit confusing for me at first. I reached out to the top of my bookshelf and found one book on it that I did not read while all the rest I have at least partially read! The prompt was perfect and I was actually wondering if this could be maybe a scary book prompt as well. Befriending a goat was as interesting experience as reading this book – not exactly good or bad, just a little different!

With all my seven books read I have reached a status of an Empress with three different outfits: one a plate of armor for battle, one casual suit for adventuring and mingling with normal people and one shiny severe dress for formal functions! I got a perfect cat companion that compliments my personality and learned to ride a horse while trained to fight with two weapons to a satisfactory degree. And last but not least I have befriended a goat on my travels through the kingdom. With the bonus of three more books I have read in May I managed to befriend a Knight to accompany me on my journey of being a good Empress! In the last five days of the challenge I read more than 700 pages which was enough to repel any outside forces that wanted to mess with my empire!

May your own stories be as interesting as was mine and I hope to participate in this challenge next year as well!

May Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – May 2020

This May I have read:

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

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

Indiscretions (Scandalous Seductions #2) by Madelynne Ellis ★★★★

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

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

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

A Most Unsuitable Earl (Marriage By Scandal #2) by Ruth Ann Nordin ★★★★

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

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

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

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

This month I have read ten books altogether. Three were in digital form and the other seven can be seen on the picture above. I am happy to keep my reading in double digits!

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

There were a lot of good books I read in May but the best for me was Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee. This kind of blend of traditional fantasy setting and some urban elements matched very well with erotica. I wish I could find more books like this one. Anything that is mainstream fantasy is mostly PG13 and most of all who have erotic elements turn out to be nothing but smut written by fanfiction type writers who are annoyed by the lack of sex in the fantasy books in general. This book has it all I and I loved that!

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

There were two books this May that kinda fell flat for me: The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris and Cable Volume 1: Shining Path by David Tischman, Igor Kordej. For The Testament of Loki I just could not seem to find a character that I could connect with. Loki seemed a bit watered down to me and the rest of the characters could have used a bit more backstory and depth for me to start caring and get myself more immersed into the story. The ending of the book seemed a bit psychedelic and kinda bland at the same time. The whole book in general seemed like an interlude to something else and not very good on it’s own. And in case of Cable Volume 1: Shining Path the story was good. I had some problems with following all the action. I kept feeling like I was missing something and had to catch up. I have some issues the artwork. Kordej’s works are very recognizable with chunky characters and muscles. What bugged me the most was actually the coloring and I really did not like how it looked with illustrators firm and dark lines.

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

For the month of May I decided to try out the Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge for the first time – you can check out my original post for it HERE. I will write a more detailed post about my experience with it soon but it is safe to say I am happy with how it all went.

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

I am actually very pleased with the reading I have done in finishing and continuing some book series in May! I finished two book series and one of those was a long time coming. I finally made some progress with The Trials of Apollo book series and I can hope to get to the next book soonish as well. I started out one new book series I plan to continue and that would be Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell.

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

Instead of the books I would recommend the author Rainbow Rowell for her quirky yet relatable writing style and a reading challenge as creative as Medieval-A-Thon. I loved little updates on Instagram and opportunities for some extra rewards and story plots to further my reading!

Final thoughts on May 2020 reading

At first I thought May was going to be a slow reading month after doing the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April but after finding Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge I was hooked and a bit scared how will I manage it since I started a week later. I managed to exceed all my expectation and have fun reading some books that were on my TBR for a very long time. I’m glad for challenging myself this way. Only thing that is curbing my enthusiasm right now is that I made zero progress with my book club assignment which is due next week.

Looking forward to a fun a and more relaxed reading in June 🙂

Medieval-A-Thon Reading Challenge in May

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After I finished O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April I thought I could use a break and some slower book reading time.

Aaaaand then I found THIS video!

The video was a nice surprise and it gave me a big shot of reading energy for May. I actually jumped about glancing at my bookshelves looking for books that fit this challenge. I love the visual format of the prompts! Here they are:

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This first picture shows the amount of books you need to read to get the status you want. The highest number of seven books is motivating and doable for me.

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Just like you would customize your character in a game you get to pick out your wardrobe by using the prompts for the books. The wardrobe choices are simple and fit the medieval theme nicely.  Seeing a prompt “A pristine book” made me intrigued. The approval of getting freaky when choosing the best looking copy of the book in a bookstore made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

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To keep with the times there is a selection of prompts that provide you with weapons. As soon as I saw them I knew which ones I wanted even though the completionist in me wanted them all! Again the prompts are motivating and interesting. I wanted some more clarification on the “A heavy book” prompt though and decided to settle on 500+ pages book for that one.

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The part of choosing one’s companions was very interesting to me and the most problematic. I am glad I’m not a dog person since I don’t really have a buddy to read books with anyway. Some of the prompts I needed clarification for. “A book high on my bookshelf” refers to a book that is on top of the TBR list or is stored on the highest shelf you have at home or in the library. “A tall hardcover” is simply a big format book in hardcover binding.

At first glance these are the books and prompts I picked out right away. First three books are wardrobe related prompts. The fourth book is weapon related prompt. And last three books are companion related!

Dragon on the cover 

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

This book I just missed out on the April challenge and it is a great opportunity to get myself to read it! The dragon on the cover is mechanical but it is still a dragon! The outfit this prompt comes with is cool looking and I like it.

 

A book under 300 pages

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

This is the third and final book in the series and I was meaning to finish it soon anyway. I was looking for a prompt to pair it with and finding out it has 299 pages made it perfect for this prompt. The outfit for this prompt are okay for a working clothes when going undercover or something.

 

A shiny book

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

For this prompt I had a few options and then I decided to go with this one. The cover has some nice shiny decorations and I really like the design. I read the first book not that long ago and I liked it enough to push this book higher on my TBR list. I really love the outfit for this prompt it looks severe and cool and I kinda like that right now.

 

Start or finish a duology

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

It has been a really long time since I’ve read the first book of this duology! When I got the perfect prompt to include this book I could not stop grinning! I was apprehensive about reading this book because I feel unsure if I will be able to get into it since too much time has passed between now and the first book. This is my only weapon prompt and it is for the dual wielding swords! I knew I wanted them right away.

 

A book high on my bookshelf

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

This book sits atop of my bookshelf and it is one of the rare unread books there. I am fascinated by Ravenloft setting and I love other book series by this author. I’m kinda scared what this book will be like. As a prompt for the companion a goat was not my first choice but I know how fierce those animals are!

 

A book that begins with a “C”

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

I had few options for this prompt and was pleasantly surprised when I realized just how many options I did have. I could use this book for other prompts as well – I have kinda high expectations from this book and there is a dragon on the cover, also the color on the cover is one of my favorites. I am a cat person so a cat companion prompt was a must!

 

A tall hardcover

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

“A tall hardcover” got me a bit confused. I had to look it up just to be sure but right away I choose one of the biggest hardcover books I had that were not encyclopedia type of a book. My boyfriend got this book for me on one of hist travels and I was super happy about it. The horse companion was a must so I was glad I could cover this one!

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I loved the prompts and how easy it is to pick a doable number of books and prompts to achieve a result. After the books I read in April this challenge looks like a great way to keep my reading numbers up. I had to stop myself at picking only seven books for the title of Empress even though I wanted to add some more books that I could connect to the prompts. This speaks just how delighted with this reading challenge I really am! I am so thankful and happy to the Medieval-A-Thon creator Holly Hearts Books for making such a wonderful reading challenge! Give her YouTube channel some love HERE.

I’m going into this challenge almost a whole week late so wish me luck!