Orilium – Magical Readathon Novice Path September 2021 – Update

Orilium by Lizzart

This September and the first week of October were a real mess for me. While I did manage to get some nice reading squeezed in and have read most of the books I planed to read, I am behind on making posts and updates in general. To illustrate the gravity of the situation let me just point out that while I did read the books out of order and finished reading six books out of seven I’ve chosen I completely forgot that I was supposed to record them in trough the form provided. Thankfully the form is still open and I was able do do that later on even though my books were not counted towards the statistics for September.

One thing I feel I must mention is that I did not exactly follow the path but instead I visited the locations in my own order and pace – I read the books in a different order than they were presented by the prompts! I will contribute this to my future Orilium character weird personality in which I tend to stray from the usual path and the way of doing things. From all my experience in role playing games I have a tendency to play characters that are of the chaotic alignment.

Hare are the books and prompts for the Novice Path I have read in September:

Site: Novice Path Entrance

Prompt: Book with a map

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

It was a strange choice for me to pick a second book in the Shattered Sea trilogy as the first book to start on my Novice path. Choosing the book with a map as was the requirement was harder than I anticipated and I went trough some other options I wanted more than this book but could not just find the right one. I read the first book last year and liked it very much but was apprehensive since my boyfriend did not like it because it follows some new characters other than those in the first book. I went fearfully into this book.

The map in the book is an expended version of the map in the first books and on it it was interesting to follow the adventurous path of the characters. I kept returning to the map and referring to the locations on it while I was reading. Just like the first book of the series it is a book that describes a great journey – both geographical as well as mental and personal for the characters. It was not the first book I read in September but in the end I was happy with it and enjoyed it much more than I expected. I even enjoyed myself so much I am still on the lookout for the third book in hardcover edition.

Site: Ashtorn Tree

Prompt: A book that keeps tempting you or a book on top of your TBR

Book: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ★★★★

This is one of the books on my list for book club suggestions. It has been years since it was translated into Croatian and I was intrigued since the time I was working in a bookstore. It is not a type of a book I normally go for which only speaks so much more for about the attention it garnered from me. I expected an emotional rollercoaster of a book and tried to prepare myself for the slightly morbid topic of a man who knows he is about to die and is sharing his views and values trough a story and ultimately a lecture at a university. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried on some parts of the book and some parts I considered to be thoughtful and inspiring – especially the parts where he talks about his dreams and life goals and aspirations for his own children. I will continue to advocate for this book to my book club group because I would really like to hear what they think and share my thoughts about this unusually inspiring book.

Site: The Mist of Solitude

Prompt: Standalone book

Book: Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra ★★★

From all the books I’ve chosen for this reading challenge this one was the one I was the least looking forward to. I used to for the standalone prompt because it fit another reading challenge I was doing in September as well. It was for Becca’s Bookoplathon and you can read more about it HERE. I think I prepared myself for the harshness of this book so well that when I read the parts I was worried about, it went much easier than I anticipated. The story portrays human and practical characters in a brutal setting that we sometimes forget is very real in the parts of the world we live in. I managed to disconnect myself from the story because otherwise I would not be able to wrestle with my daily chores. I prefer to use books as a balm and inspiration.

Site: Ruin of the Skye

Prompt: Book with ghosts/haunted house or other supernatural elements

Book: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice

This is one of the last books I started reading in September and I did not finish yet. My chosen supernatural element were vampires. I got a full shelf of Anne Rice’s books and out of all of them I read only one!

I often get sidetracked in my quests and I will count this one as a part of the scenic rout taken on my adventuring path in Orilium. I plan to finish it soon and as you will see from some other stats below I have reasons not to be very upset about not finishing this book in September

Site: Obsidian Falls

Prompt: Thriller or a mystery book

Book: Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1)by Kerri Maniscalco

Thriller or a mystery book prompt did not inspire confidence. I was happy when I was checking my TBR on Goodreads and in the tags found a few options that I actually liked. I decided to go with the latest Kindle edition of a book that is popular at the moment. I had high hopes of liking it too. I don’t know what did I expect from this book but I was more frustrated by it then I enjoyed it. Plot and the characters seemed weak and predictable and the explanations and plot twists seemed convenient. Some things just did not hold up for me. The vague timeline and open world that was reduced to a small Italian island felt too small and constricting while giving a respectable medieval vibe which in turn was slightly off from the open worldview of the townsfolk and their general behaviour. The book could have used a glossary of Italian words the author used. The cooking bit did not impress me as much it should have. All that being said – I liked the witch story twist and demonology theme even though I felt it to be unclear in some things. I am debating on giving the next book a try because I think it might have more potential and most of my issues with the book setting might be resolved.

Site: Tower of Rumination

Prompt: Five star prediction

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

From the first book in Murderbot Diaries series I was enamored with this science fiction stories. I loved all three previous books and I loved this one as well. I am still surprised at how much easy to read these little books are especially since space theme science fiction is still not a genre I consider a favorite. But these books are definitely my favorite and I am getting the other books related to Murderbot Diaries by the end of the year as well.

In fact I loved it so much that I am even looking out for the new fantasy book by the same author named Witch King and set to hit the bookstores in the fall next year!

Site: Orilium Academy Arc

Prompt: Book with a school setting

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

I really thought that it would be easier to find a book with a school setting on my own shelves that was not a part of the Harry Potter book series! at one point I even thought I was going to reread one of those. Instead I accidentally stumbled on a new Croatian edition and translation of the author one of my bookish friends really loves – K.F. Breene. While I never before read anything from this author I have found some of her other books on Kindle sales and collected them for some new reading opportunity and some new reading challenge. This book is fairly new and I was waiting for weeks to get it from the library. I almost did not read it in time because of it! The book actually offered a sort of prequel to some really interesting and brutal school setting and because it ended on a cliffhanger I am rethinking of reading it in English because I might not be able to wait forever for Croatian translation!

Character background prompts and book choices:

Even though I technically have time by April 2022. to finish up reading the books for my character background choices I read two out of three right away in September!

Background: Urban

Prompt: Book set in a city or town

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

As one of the books that has been on my TBR for almost a decade I expected a lot more from it. I did not want to believe the ugly cover to be a true indicator of how good the book in general is. I had issues with this book. It has been quite some time since I’ve read an urban fantasy book with the main character as unlikable and annoying as this one. 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. What killed this book for me and made me not want to continue reading the rest of the series 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. Maybe I would have liked it more if I had read it first at the time when I added it to my TBR.

Province: Kerador

Prompt: Book from an ongoing series

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

The Elfes fantasy graphic novel series has around 30 volumes and there are supposed to be other related graphic novels with other races as the main topic. For me this is going to be an ongoing series for a long time because I am using the casual approach and I’m adding a volume TBR each month or a chance I get to include it in some future reading challenge. Volumes are relatively short – each is around 50 pages long but the artwork is stunning and I enjoy the fantasy setting. I might have rushed this volume in order to read it in time but the short episode format is starting to bug me.

In addition to the options and choices above I got an update to my guild choice and have finally chosen a name for myself. So let me introduce myself for now:

My name is Petaniqua and I am a of skaimorn descent. I come from a city in the province of Kerador and belong to The Archivists guild. The ancient art of book keeping is one of our specialties.

I am looking forward to new content and details that come with each guild, quest and lore. From the prompts I have left to complete until April I have only one more left and I will probably start on it at the in December if not somewhere in early 2022.

Heritage: Skaimorn

Prompt: Oldest book I own or have on TBR

Book: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

This reading challenge feels more like an adventure game and I hope I will continue to enjoy it. How do you like my journey so far and what do you think about participating in this type of a reading challenge? For more details on the Orilium challenge check out the video announcement HERE and give Book Roast some love and support.

Bookopoly TBR 2021 – October

In October I am back to my usual Bookopoly TBR game with my own board to play with. September was educational in learning the difference between the prompts I use and those Becca decided to prepare for everyone joining in the Bookoplathon. You can check out my thoughts and experience on it HERE. I continued with the rolls where I left off back in August and even added one penalty roll for a book from September.

For October Bookopoly I am using a standee from the board game Forgotten Waters. Forgotten Waters is a game by Plaid Hat Games publisher and this piratey adventure has been one of my gaming groups favorites since we got it this summer!

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in October:

Prompt: Highest Rated

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

My first roll looked promising and landed on a Highest Rated prompt. I had few options for this prompt but ended adding the graphic novel because this is one of the books I wanted to read way back in 2020. and somehow missed it altogether. As an added bonus I am hoping to put some balm on my TBR for October since I started working on a new job recently and I have yet to manage my time better to fit in more reading time.

Prompt: Ex Yu Author

Book: Jebo sad hiljadu dinara by Boris Dežulović

My second roll got me an interesting prompt I decided to add to the board in the last revision because I wanted to read more authors from my own country. I decided to broaden the scope to all authors from the ex Yugoslavia region. I decided on a book I have been interested for a few years now. It is an older book from 2005. by a Croatian journalist and has Catch 22 vibes. It is fairly short and I like that too!

Prompt: Light cover

Book: Bite by Laurell K. Hamilton et al

My third roll was a double – 2+ 2! The prompt was Light Cover and I decided to use it to read one of the older urban fantasy short story collections I have on my shelf and have not read yet. Most of the authors are already known to me and I expect to like it!

Prompt: Other Culture

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

Fourth roll was an interesting prompt – Other Culture. I scoured my own shelves in search for something and then I remembered a book I was meaning to read and trying to get my book club friends to read as well. It is a book I was looking at for years now and I hope to push it for a book club assignment some day, I will keep trying!

Prompt: Chance Card

Book: Bajki robotów by Stanisław Lem

My fifth roll made me use my new Chance Card list since I used up all cards I had prepared last year! Sure some of those I ended up reading for other reading challenges and was left with having to make a new list and cards to shuffle and play with! The first book I pulled from it was a short story collection with theme of robots written by Polish author back in 1964.

Prompt: Science Fiction

Book: Alien ( Alien Movie Novelizations #1 ) by Alan Dean Foster

And my sixth roll was another double which added another roll after this one. The prompt was rather easy and I decided to use this opportunity to add another book from my buddy reading list. I am not sure how I feel about this movie novelization and the horror theme. I hope it wont get too scary for me.

Prompt: Most Recent Purchase

Book: Empire of the Vampire ( Empire of the Vampire #1 ) by Jay Kristoff

For this prompt I want to use the book I was expecting to arrive at the start of September and I really want it to arrive in time for October at least. Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff is one of the books that caught my attention one year ago when it was first announced. I never read anything by this author and from what I understand this book just might be my kind of vampire story! I really hope I will like it!

Prompt: Small Book

Book: Stoner by John Williams

This last roll was added as a penalty from September. I used this last prompt to add a book that is my book club assignment for October. For some reason many of my friends who like to read, liked this book and I want to see what the hype is about! I have no expectations on it and it seems like a “slice of life” with extra lemon zest – I guess sometimes I am into moody dramas. We will see 🙂

I might have overdone myself with eight books here because of the new life related conditions and this month Bookopoly will be the only reading challenge I will be doing in October. I had plans for more and I even made lists but If I find the time to actually write about them by the end of the first week of October I might even take them on. For now I will just follow my bookish friends in their many October reading challenges and cheer them on in their bookish endeavors!

How do you like my reading pile for Bookopoly October? Do you plan diversity in your TBR or it doesn’t even play role in your book choices?

Becca’s Bookopoly – Bookoplathon September 2021 – Experience and thoughts

This September my reading buddy and I decided to both join in on Bookoplathon September reading challenge by using Becca’s Bookoplathon board instead of our usual Bookopoly board that was based on Becca’s but modified for our reading needs and goals trough this last year. We got the idea last year and carried it on by ourselves and when the opportunity to once again join Becca’s reading challenge came along we were all in. I must say I was impressed with the prompts across the board being well thought out and gave readers freedom in picking out books in a way that not many other reading challenges do. You should check out Becca’s YouTube channel HERE and give her some love because she really deserves it! You can also check out the original post where I picked out my books HERE.

I had six rolls total and six books to read since one roll was a double and added one extra roll and book with the usual five that were the base on my start.

Here is how my prompts and my reading experience went:

Prompt: Gods

Book: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry

My first roll got me a book I did not finish by the end of the month. Mythos was not what I expected and truth be told I did not think much about what to expect when I bought this book. If I thought logically I would have been more aware of this book being a retelling of Greek mythology by a British comedian. I was reading a lovely luxury edition translated to Croatian and I felt the bumps and hurdles in what was probably originally created to be witty and humorous commentary on Greek mythology. I found out the hard way that I hoped for something more informative and educational and while I certainly got that; I also got silly observations and bland comedic comments that lost the amusing bits somewhere in translation. I really wanted to like this book and the final product was a very slow reading progress and gradually growing disinterest. I don’t feel compelled to pick up the book to enjoy reading and only goal in mind I have is to get it out of my reading schedule. I will finish it eventually but it will take longer than I anticipated. I decided to count it as reading in progress an not apply any penalty reading in October since I read over one third of it and plan to finish it anyway… Sad and disappointed 😦

Prompt: Mood Read

Book: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning

When I first rolled my dice and got the “Mood Read” prompt I was pleased. Then I got really undecided on what to pick since I wanted to pick something that can crossover with the second reading challenge I had going on for September and something I thought I would enjoy. Urban fantasy has been my go to genre and a safety blanket for almost a decade so this book seemed like a good choice. My only explanation is that over the years I might have started to be a lot more judgy for my favorite genre. Also, I guess I like a little bit more direction in my reading prompts. I was too easily annoyed with the main character and while this book had some good points the end just kicked down the whole series from my future TBR. 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 in which nothing made sense to me. And I had a chat with a friend where we could not help but comment on how ugly and poorly designed this book cover really is. I mean really the main character doesn’t even have blue eyes and it shows how little the publisher thought about this book 😦

Prompt: Current News / Events

Book: Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra

I was dreading reading this book. My reading buddy is really into these middle eastern real life story retellings and I just need a bit more hope and magic in my books. I knew that the harsh reality of this book will be something that will make me cry. I expected the worst and I might have softened the blow the story would have had on me if I was less prepared. I tend to cry and get really depressed when reading these types of books and I am a low energy person that can’t really afford to waste it on a book that will traumatize me for weeks. Because that’s how long some sad and horrific books stay with me sometimes. I am glad this book was short and that I chose it for the first book to read in September because I had other books to occupy my mind and not dwell on it too much.

Prompt: Opulent

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

I had another book in mind for this prompt: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff. Sadly that book has yet to arrive even though I preordered it back in August. I was ready to read this 700+ pages vampire book and love it. The replacement book was a little less opulent but the vivid blue streaked with gold details on the cover got my attention instead. This was not a random pick since it was a part of duology with Strange the Dreamer I planned to read this September as well. I liked the book more than I thought I would and got an extra kick from reading both of the books in the same month!

Prompt: Poll Pick

Book: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

First book in the Strange the Dreamer duology and a part of the buddy reading project. I was not sure if I would like this book but the main character was endearing in his practicality and love of books. I can even describe this book as a dreamy bookish adventure. This book was from the library and I think the blue and orange on the cover really look good. I am glad to have finally read this book and I can totally see why people love it. On the poll I created all of my bookish friends voted for me to read it!

Prompt: Chance card

Book: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice

My sixth prompt and the last book I started reading this September is The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice. I remember the first book Interview with the Vampire as a bookish trauma of sorts. I could not get into it and kept confusing the book with the movie that I used to watch often and loved it every time. I was so apprehensive about reading this book that I did not even start it until the last day of September and knowing I will not be finishing it in time for the challenge. Once I started reading it I wanted to scream at myself because it pulled me in from the first sentence! I loved reading Lestat perspective and finding out more about his past! I find myself wanting to read it all the time and adore how engaging this book is for me. I think I need to count this one for the penalty in October since I did not manage to read it and sabotaged myself this way. For my penalty I will be adding one more roll for October for my usual Bookopoly reading challenge!

My thoughts on my experience in Bookoplathon September 2021

First let me share some stats about the books I have read. This is a first Bookopoly book pile that has same number of books from the library as from my own shelves. All but one book was in Croatian language. Total number of pages I was supposed to read was 2242 instead I read 1321 which is almost one thousand pages less in just two books difference.

I was super impressed with the prompts and because I consider the Bookopoly board I use for my usual monthly reading challenge a work in progress I might take some inspiration on simple prompts that offer a wide range of books to fulfill them. I am glad to have participated even though I am not that happy with how I did. From six books I planned to read for the challenge only four I actually read. I plan to finish those that I have leftover but this brings the number of books I have for reading in progress up to three and makes me feel really bad about tagging books along from month to month. I will enjoy finishing at least one of these soon enough but it might reflect bad on my reading in October and I might even have to slow down. Another reason I loved participating in Becca’s reading challenge is because I find her content entertaining and her ideas inspiring. Thank you Becca 🙂

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?

Becca’s Bookopoly – Bookoplathon September 2021

In September there are many wonderful reading challenges to choose from and unless I find a doorway to a secret dimension where time flows slower and spent equal amount of time in it as in this one! Sadly I am still on the lookout for that kind of doorway. Until I find it I have made a selection of reading challenges I will be participating in and Becca’s Bookopoly is something I simply can’t miss since she inspired me to make my own Bookopoly board and then work on it and modify it for the last year! This September all who are interested are given the chance to play together on a special Bookopoly board that is designed to include options for many different types of readers.

You can check out Becca’s channel Becca and the Books HERE and her own throwdown for the Bookoplathon HERE – Warning: the dice have not gone easy on her and it was a blast! Thank you Becca! Love your content and hope you read all the books you set for yourself in September!

I printed out the board for this on a normal A4 size paper on my home printer and it turned out rather small so I had to improvise the figure to represent me on the board. The figure I use is from a board game I own called Tang Garden. It is a cool looking board game we backed on Kickstarter few years back. For more info on the game you can check out HERE. The figure is painted by my boyfriend and I love the colors used.

I will be making another post on my August Bookopoly results later this week. This Bookoplathon is going to be instead of my own usual Bookopoly board play and those will continue as normal in October. The dice favored me better than they did Becca and while I also had a double roll it was not multiple times!

Here are my Bookoplathon rolls for September:

Prompt: Gods

Book: Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry

My first roll looked very promising and gave me rather unusual prompt for a book with Gods of some kind. Since I was looking for an excuse to finally take on one of the books I already have a sequel waiting I was happy to pick out at Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry. This edition is a one of the highly sought out for in Croatian since it is a limited edition that is printed out in only 500 numbered copies with luxury treatment. Each luxury book from this publisher is later published in normal paperback edition but the first numbered edition is quickly sold out and reaches high prices at reseller markets. I used to be crazy about them like many others but have soon decided to stick to the books I am really interested in. I love mythology and hope to have a five star book on my hands here!

Prompt: Mood Read

Book: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning

My second roll was a double! Both dices showed two and the sum was four which landed me on Mood Read spot. At first it was cool but later while trying to choose books for all the prompts I realized I like a bit more guidance. Mood Read is cool but how do you choose a book for mood reading in advance? How do I know what will I be in the mood for reading of? And I can’t make plans for mood reading at the beginning of the month like that. so you might understand my frustration on this roll. In the end I picked out a bunch of books I was thinking about reading, some for other reading challenge some for other prompts and take what was left for this one. I ended up with a book I have been interested in reading for over a decade: Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning. I even have and edition in Croatian on my shelf! It is an urban fantasy with a prominent female lead that I usually love. Technically I am always in the mood for some good urban fantasy!

Prompt: Current News / Events

Book: Les Hirondelles de Kaboul by Yasmina Khadra

Third roll was a sum of seven and got me Current News / Events. I tried to fight the onslaught of current news about Kabul and the conflicts in the world. I even had a few interesting options with the not so long ago commercial flights to space and some feel good and less popular news about repopulation of some endangered species in Australia but finding a book on those was a chore. I could not find a close enough book about travelling to space to count it for the prompt and I was not in the mood for reading Richard Branson’s biography. Back to Afghanistan and Kabul it was… The English title of this book is The Swallows of Kabul and my Croatian edition is titled Kabulske lastavice. I am apprehensive just thinking about reading this book and will probably go and read it first just to be done with it before it breaks me since I am very easily influenced by stuff I read in books in general. And I don’t mean just the crying but I get cripplingly depressed and it makes hard for me to function in my daily life. If you have some jokes or funny memes pls send them my way I will need them…

Prompt: Opulent

Book: Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff / Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

Roll number four was a low roll and sum four! I think Opulent is a really cool and doable prompt. This is the prompt I wanted to use for Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold (Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #1) by Stephen Fry but then I got excited and hyped and really optimistic about Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff that comes out in the first week of September. I preordered it and would love reading it if it gets here on time. I even thought about making sure I read all the other books before the last week of September so I can be ready to start reading this one as soon as it arrives! If my experience with last book I preordered has anything similar with this one I will probably get this book in October though… In the case that happens I decided to have a back up and my back up is a book with a cover I find pretty and spoiler for my next roll: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor. This way I might start and finish a series in September. Still hoping for my preorder to arrive!

Prompt: Poll Pick

Book: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

Second to last roll was another lower number and it landed me on a Poll Pick tile. The books I decided to offer for the poll were all from my Buddy reading list for 2021. I put the poll up on my book club Facebook group. And my fellow readers from the book club all voted for Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor. Other three options didn’t even get a single vote in the first few days the poll was up and it did not seem they would get any at all! So my book for this prompt is Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor. I got my book from the library and my library has a rule that if the book is part of the series up to five books you get all the books in the series as a set. This is how I ended up with both books in this duology and it might even seem I will be reading both of them this September!

Prompt: Chance card

Book: The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice

My last extra roll was an eight and I got a Chance Card. For this month’s Bookoplathon I decided to use the Chance card I use normally for my Bookopoly each month. My deck of starting sixteen Chance cards was down to only one and it was The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice. I will be making a post on all the books that were in my Bookopoly Chance Card deck and making a new pile for next month. It has been a few years since I’ve read the Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice. It has been exactly four years since I finished reading it and it was a book I just could not get into. I kept mixing the movies and the book and it did not end well. I hope this book fares better.

Six books for Bookoplathon is a good number of books to read and while some of these book will be crossing over with the other reading challenges I will be doing in September (post on them soon) some are going to be adding up on my total number of books for September. Also this might be the first time to have all but one (two if Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff arrives in time for me to read it) books in Croatian! I only noticed this when taking the pictures. I hope to read all that I have planned and continue with Bookopoly as usual in October!

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?

Merlin Readathon August 2021 – Experience and thoughts

Merlin Readathon I chose to participate this August was my first try at a reading challenge with the time limit shorter than a whole month. This reading challenge was set to last first two weeks if August – from 1. to 15. Generally I prefer whole month reading challenges because it gives me enough time to organize and take my time reading. I don’t do reading sprints or short reading challenges ( those that happen on the weekends and last for 48 hours or shorter).

As reading challenges go, this one was simple in the number of books I needed to read and had a twist on choosing a path trough the prompts that were set by the creators. When choosing the prompts participants were offered to join in a bit of roleplay and make choices as a character in the series setting would. See the offered choices below.

I choose my path and the books that fit the prompts AND I even went easy on myself by letting myself choose the last book as a partial read. You can check out my original post and my explanation on choosing the books HERE.

Let’s continue to the books I decided to read for this reading challenge and see how it all went!

Apprentice – Read an underhyped book

Book – Lord Mord by Miloš Urban ★★★

First book I have read was chosen as an underhyped book and I must admit that beside some historical details and intriguing place the story is set in. Most of the book was filled with probably historically accurate but still annoyingly misogynistic characters and character choices. This book left a bad aftertaste.

Magician – Read a book with snake on the cover

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

Second book I picked for this readathon was something I hoped to really enjoy – latest book in one of my favorite urban fantasy book series. I was not sure about the snake on the cover and after reading the book I am still not sure how much the prompt fits. The fantastical creature was sometimes serpent-like and I guess it could fit after all. But I did enjoy the book and loved reading it!

This is where I made a mistake and took a wrong book to read next. Instead of the book I should have been reading I picked up Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell. It is a book I had on my reading list for August for another reading challenge and I got my books mixed up…

I should have been reading:

Conjurer – Read a book that has been translated

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

I managed to read this book but I got so upset that I mixed the books and their reading order and did not finish it by the 15th of August. This is why I try to avoid reading challenges with a particular reading order – I feel too pressured and cant concentrate on the actual reading.

Last book I was going easy on myself with by deciding to read at least a part of was:

Sorcerer – Read a book that intimidates you

Book – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

And I ended up not making any progress on this one at all! Seriously I have not even touched this book at all…The Count of Monte Cristo is continuing to haunt me for I have been ” reading” it officially a year now!

My thoughts on my experience in Merlin Readathon August 2021

Strictly speaking my score on this reading challenge is not a failure and I have read my Novice level book as well as Apprentice level book. This was a different experience and I have learned something about myself. Even though things did not go as planned I am glad I have tried this type of a reading challenge. I might give similar reading challenges in the future another go but for now I will stick with reading challenges that give me more leisure with time.

Merlin Readathon – August 2021

I am always on the lookout for interesting reading challenges and when I realized that I only do a whole month reading challenges I wanted to mix it up and try a reading challenge that is shorter. Honestly I could understand why some people would have prefer shorter reading challenges – like a few weekend challenges I often stumble upon but so far they are not something that fit my reading schedule or lifestyle because on the weekends I am usually busy with friends and isolating myself to read for 48 hours to read just does not work for me.

There were a few two week long reading challenges I have thought about before but this is the first time I will be trying one out! This reading challenge starts at 1. August and lasts through 15. August. The TV show Merlin was a favorite of mine some years back and the theming appeals to me.

You can check out the announcement video on YouTube for more details HERE and give the bambina katarina and the resto of the creators some love and attention for their creative work. One of the reasons that I find the shorter reading challenges less appealing is because they are harder for me to present in blog post form since there are not very many visual content the creators offer with them.

The whole challenge is organized in “choose your own path” style and the final goal would be to read four books total which is great for two weeks time period. The challenge is supported by five tiers for the readers where each readers starts out as an Apprentice and each book read earns him the status of Magician, Conjurer, Sorcerer and finally Mage. There are four prompts to choose from in the first tier and from those readers have options for the next tier prompt.

I had a lot of thought for choosing my first prompt and had to improvise a bit. Here are my choices for the Merlin reading challenge in August 2021.

Apprentice – Read an underhyped book

Book – Lord Mord by Miloš Urban

This novel my Checz author Miloš Urban caught my attention when it first came out in Croatian translation. It is not well known but the theme is fascinating for me. It is a historical crime mystery set in Prague in the 19th century. The book description promises historical and political intrigues at the time as well as a intriguing main character with dark and fantastic elements. I am interested in that part of Austro-Hungarian historical background as well as the political commentary that many compare to more modern and contemporary issues. This book was a gift and I was very happy with it even though at first glance it might not be my usual reading choice.

Magician – Read a book with snake on the cover

Book – Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs

I have very many books with snakes on the cover and last summer I read three different ones for a reading challenge by an accident! Now I wanted to read a book with snake on the cover that I did not already read and my options were limited. I almost had to change my whole pathing trough the prompt tiers because of it. In the last moment I decided to count this scaly serpentine shape behind Mercy on the cover as a snake! I even tried to find a plot summary of this book to make my claim stronger but there were surprisingly little spoilers and summaries about the plot out there. Even the Wiki page on this book was blank! And now I am even more pumped to read this book just to see if I was right about the serpentine form on the cover!

Conjurer – Read a book that has been translated

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

I have been wondering about this book since it first came out in English. Imagine my surprise when it came out in Croatian translation since there are so many other hits that take years to get translated into my language. For that reason alone I wanted to read it in Croatian translation as a way of backing the decision of whomever chose it. I even decided to buy my own copy and I will get it in a day or two!

Sorcerer – Read a book that intimidates you

Book – The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

There it is – The bane of my existence for almost a year now. a book that has been waiting and judging me while I kept reading all other books instead. I wanted to finally give myself a sold reason to make more progress with this book. I started it last year and got somewhere around 350 pages out of 1100. The number of pages alone is not the main problem but the font is so tiny it makes it seem forever to finish a chapter and the adventure plot and intrigue I would normally have no problem reading trough just seem unnecessarily long. I might not be able to finish this book but getting seriously into it for a few hundred pages or even half of it would be a win for me!

These are my choices for the Merlin Readathon 2021. I will start on the first book this evening and we will see how this two week reading challenge thing works for me.

Wish me luck!

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.

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

Last year I did this book tag and was very pleased with the result. You can check out my Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag for 2020 HERE. This year I am nervous about it and a lot closer to actually freaking out! Last year was a good year in reading. I read some great books and considering the world wide pandemic situation I had a lot of awesome reading challenges and time to participate in them. This year I made a reading goal to read 100 books – respectable book goal considering I have read 120 books last year.

Being halfway through the year it is time to look at my reading experience in the first part of the year 2021. By the end of June I was thirteen (13!) books behind on my reading to reach the goal I have set for myself.

Total number of books I have read in the first half of the year is 37.

I had some rough patches in the first months of this year and the unemployed status is starting to weigh down on me emotionally. It is at times panic inducing anxiety riding journey trough life that prevents me from focusing and drains me from energy I need in order to actually work on making my life better. Now with those depressing thoughts out here for everyone to see let us begin with this year’s Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2021

I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider

I got this book as a present from a my Buddy reading friend last year and it took me almost a full year to actually pick it up and read trough! What I found most amazing about this book was the inspiration for reading challenges and projects it offers and positive energy I got from reading trough it. It is more than just a comic/ graphic novel book with short and sweet bookish illustrations. I was pleasantly surprised by how many caricatures were grounded in real life situations of book lovers worldwide that may seem silly to anyone who might not be a part of that group. This book is an excellent gift for writers as well as readers. Endearing and intelligent at the same time this is the type of a feel good book any book lover would appreciate and I am very glad to have gotten it as a present!

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021

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

Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series by Laurell K. Hamilton is a longest standing book series I own and read. My relationship with this book series is complex and I am always apprehensive about the newest book. Rafael is one of the few books in the series that center around other characters development and story. Last one like it was Jason and that one was a little underwhelming for me. I was pleasantly surprised by Rafael as a wholesome book that made my interest in reading the whole series trough a second time peak! The storyline progressed, most of my favorite characters have gotten some page time, Rafael and the rodere have been shown in new light and all shifters in general have gotten a new dimension. It was one of the best possible sequels to a series I love to read!

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

Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson book 12) by Patricia Briggs

&

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

There are a few books from last year that I wanted to read but did not get to just yet. Both are something I am looking forward to reading and both have gorgeous covers. I expect I would love reading both of them and my excuse that they just did not fit into my reading challenges prompts is weak at best….I have no excuse for not reading them yet! I got both of these books this year and if you want you can check out my Book haul post on them both from February HERE.

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

Empire of the Vampire (Empire of the Vampire #1) by Jay Kristoff

I have not read any books by Jay Kristoff! That being said I do have some of his books on my wish list and TBR. But when I first saw Empire of the Vampire being announced I was hooked! I think everyone is ready for a new vampire themed hit that will be made into movies and TV shows and have a huge following! I want that for this book! There is already GR record for a whole trilogy of this book series! This book has been announced a whole year in advance and there are so many wonderful special editions to choose from that I am stumped and can’t decide which one to choose! There is the obvious difference between the US and the UK edition cover art and there is a whole range of each with color variations and sprayed edges in different colors and even illustrations on them as well. Only thing I am sure of is that I want the hardcover edition for sure, the rest is still undecided. Any help is appreciated and I really hope I don’t end up with more copies of the same book because I really don’t want to be that person…Oh and the book is announced to come out in September!

5. Biggest disappointment

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

I have been looking at this book series for a very long time. Even before I started this blog I was often browsing the Amazon bookstore online and making lists of books I wanted to read one day. This book was often on my lists but then I had no means of buying all the books I was interested in. This might have been for the best since this book was a total disappointment for me. In fact I thought the book so bad I could not even finish it. I still have problems with letting go of the books that I don’t like and will most of the time make myself finish them. On this one I made an exception and made myself stop reading at exactly half of it. The dialogue was dumb, the main characters had no appeal for me and the whole setting of the story seemed stretched too thin and did not even offer any interesting back up characters to grab onto. This book first came out over twenty years ago – 1999 and it did not age well. I am not bothered by many things and consider myself a very forgiving reader but this book presented me with some many things that annoyed me and did not offer anything worthwhile to hold onto and like…

6. Biggest surprise

Radiance (Wraith Kings book 1) by Grace Draven

As opposed to the last book I mentioned Radiance by Grace Draven was another Kindle edition I got this year that I quickly fell in love with! I tend to download samples of books that I find interesting and when I read the offered sample of this one I got hooked right from the start! I loved the fantastic setting and the quirky way the author presented the differences between humans and elves. I was intrigued by the world the author build and the only complain I had was that the title of the series made sense only when I started the second book Eidolon. The characters were interesting and the story was passionate. I loved it so much that I had to buy the next book in the series right away. There is one more book after these two The Ippos King and I am keeping my eye on it for some promotional price but I might give in and buy it before the price drop.

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

Martha Wells and Grace Draven

Space themed books and general science fiction are not my first pick and when I find a book that belongs in that genre and love it I make a note to look up more from the same author. Martha Wells is a new for me author I have heard about winning genre awards for her Murderbot series few years in a row. I decided to pick it up in a box set edition of first four books in hard cover. I was happy with the price point for them like this and the flimsy box or even a small damage on one of the box did not made me regret buying them. I ended up enjoying the short novella format of this series and plan to follow up for more books from Martha Wells. I had to add Grace Draven as a new favorite author because of how much I loved her worldbuilding style and her characters. Both of these authors I plan to read more books from!

8. Newest fictional crush

The artwork is not mine and all rights belong to their respective owners!

Asher from Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series

Asher is not a new fictional crush of mine. He’s one of the oldest fictional crushes I am still into. This year I am slowly continuing a second read trough Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series and I was reminded of how much I like him. I think he is an amazing character. I love his flaws and I get angry at how much he was used in Anita’s moody interpretation of morality trough the books. I keep coming back to some of his scenes and I wonder what happened to make him seem as an arrogant a-hole with a impulse control of a five year old spoiled child. It does not add up with how he first started out and was introduced in the series. I’m loving reading this “older” version of him.

9. Newest favorite character

The artwork is not mine and all rights belong to their respective owners!

Brishen and Ildiko from the Wraith Kings book series by Grace Draven

I am fangirling on both of these characters! I love their banter and their chemistry. The Prince of no value and the noblewoman of no importance are both awesome and intriguing! The reason I did not go for Brishen or Ildiko alone is that without Ildiko Brishen is far less interesting to me and without Brishen Ildiko is just bland and easy to ignore. I see them as a pair that should be kept and adored as a set!

10. Book that made you cry

Rule of Wolves (King of Scars book 2) by Leigh Bardugo

I loved this book. I has also made me angry and sad to the point of frustration. I cried a bit at some parts too. There was so much tragedy and hopeless moments that I just found it hard to deal with. I devoured all other books from the Grishaverse but this one took me a lot longer to read trough. I am still mad about how some characters were dealt with. This book reminds me of pain and tragedy and even though some characters were supposed to have their happy ending I did not feel it. All that stayed with me after all the previous books was the feeling of melancholy and I expected a lot more and a lot better! My tears are from sadness but out of frustration as well…

11. Book that made you happy

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

There were a few books that made me feel happy this year. Most notably it was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling for my book club assignment in May. I love my Hufflepuff edition books and I finally have a complete set by getting the last two books for birthday this year. The last two book were given to me by my book club friends and that is a reason more to smile while I read them. I love the yellow and black design of books and I love the little stars that are above each chapter title! Just thinking about those books makes me happy!

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

The Shadow and Bone

The first answer that came to my mind was Witcher! I have only recently read the first book and was sure that the first season was only last year only to be shocked to find out that the first season came out on Netflix in December 2019! This led me to the only option of The Shadow and Bone since I read the last book in the Grishaverse this year and watched the TV series as soon as it came out back in April! There were a few move and TV series adaptations I have seen this year and liked but all those I’ve watched I haven’t read the books or in some cases graphic novels for. Those would be: Enola Holmes and The Old Guard whose move sequels I can’t wait for.

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

2020 Reading Challenges Report

I kept meaning to write a book review but to my shame in the whole first six months of 2021. I did not write a single book review post! Throughout this book tag I have remembered more than one book that I had a lot of things to say about and more than a passing reading experiences to share. For this reason my favorite post this year is the summary on all the reading challenges I did in 2020. That post gives me an overview and a list of all the reading activities I made myself try out. I am still trying to continue with this so I can make a similar post next year that I can be proud of! You can check my 2020 Reading Challenges Report HERE.

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

The Rule of Wolves (King of Scars book 2) by Leigh Bardugo

&

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Both of these books I have already mentioned in this book tag already for different reasons. Grishaverse books are one of the most beautiful book mass produced on my bookshelves. But I can’t help but being drawn to the beautiful cover of my paperback edition of A Phoenix First Must Burn collection of stories. I have high expectations from it as well!

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

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas was my answer on this question last year. While I made some progress with it I can’t seem to get myself to finish it. I truly believe I would need to take a whole month away just to read that one book. My Word cloud edition has 1055 pages and I am currently on page 358. This is the book that I keep having in a background like an accusing hush but I just keep reaching for other books instead. I decided not to add more plans aside from reading challenges trough the year in order to get to this book. Clearly reading it slowly is not getting me anywhere and taking a whole month just to make myself read only one book seems a bit drastic. Maybe it is time to for drastic measures…