May The Force Read With You 2021: Reading experience and thoughts

Good news is that I read all the books I picked out on my path to be a Jedi! While I had some ideas about reading more than just the five mandatory books for May The Force Read With You reading challenge I did not get around to picking more books that fit the prompts for it. I stayed true to my Light Side Path and did not have to pick any of the neutral prompts that were available.

Here are the books I read for this reading challenge and my thoughts on them!

Prompt: Jedi Council – Sequel or book in a series

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

My first prompt is the one I was the most excited about and felt it was the most connected with the Star Wars theme. Miles Vorkosigan is a high profile high born from the planet Barrayar that has a long and brutal military history. Due to and assassination attempt on his mother while he was still in the womb he suffered some damage that stunted his growth and made his bones very brittle. The Saga of Miles Vorkosigan is aptly named and there is a whole world of political intrigue in space and James Bond/Indiana Jones adventure feel to his life in general. This series has around sixteen books and finding out a correct way to read them can be tricky. I have all the books translated in Croatian and keep them as a great choice to add as a next book to read for reading challenges. I plan to read the whole series but am not actively working hard on it. These stories are a delight for me to read because with most science fiction literature I can’t seem to connect with the characters and their stories. Miles is different in this way. Miles is the reason I keep reading science fiction which I am not that big a fan of.

Prompt: Knowledge – Read one of the oldest books on your shelf/TBR

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

The second book I read in the challenge was not the second prompt but the book that was on my TBR and the actual bookshelves for many years. Nonfiction books are not often something I pick for reading challenges since they take more concentration and time to read. I am a story driven reader and reading a book of essays was not something I would have chosen to take on lightly. Like Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has had a cult following that transcends generations and the period that it was made in. It was really interesting for me to read professional writers on their own favorite show and exhibit great emotions over things only true fans would pay attentions too let alone obsess about! Some essays were endearing to read, some inspired me to watch episodes of the TV show and some made me feel glad my thoughts on Buffy never got that far. Fandoms and people that are part of them are amazing!

Prompt: Force Spirit – A book with paranormal elements

Book: Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić ★★★

My actual second prompt and the third book I have read for this challenge was a short novel by a Croatian author and the first of her work I have read. Like some movies from the Star Wars franchise, this was one of the books with characters I had trouble connecting with. The philosophical nature of the plot just made me disconnect and lose interest. I had similar issues with the Rogue One movie. While a friend that recommended and gave me this book as a present liked this book I now must find a way to tell her gently that I did not find what she thought was so fascinating about it…

Prompt: Healing – Read a book from your favorite genre

Book: Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole ★★★★

My next prompt and the book I read was spot on with the healing theme. I needed something to get me back to my favorite genre. It has been years since I read the last book from this series and I was caught off guard with the amount of sex scenes here. For the first part of the book it is an enemies to lovers deal BUT when the main characters get it on, they GET IT ON a lot. I found some connections wo the Star Wars here in the star crossed lovers getting together and while Anakin and Padme share the aptitude for destruction and tragedy with Sian and Lila their story is HEA by the end of the book at least. Also this cover, while not one of my favorites, gives me Anakin vibes…

Prompt: Cleansed – Book with a white cover

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

The last prompt and the last book I have read for this reading challenge was another nonfiction book – which is I suspect the reason behind me not reaching for the extra prompts that I might have chosen otherwise. Picking two nonfiction books in a single month and a single reading challenge is a first for me ever. This time it was a book of biographies of women from Croatian history. I was not too thrilled with the way they were presented – often trough the lens of political conditions of their time and trough the men they associated with. The title translates roughly as “Cursed Croatian Women” and these biographies are filled with tragedy and strife. My view on Star Wars story was always trough the main character Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and I can’t help but to consider him a tragic character. And here is my connection to the Star Wars theme – tragic life stories and choices. The sepia white on the cover made me forcibly claim it as a white cover and a part of the reason for this pick was also a buddy reading list I am still behind on!

I did not participate in reading sprints and activities across social media platforms that were available and maybe if I had I would have been felt more motivated to choose more books to read after the initial five. Eric from Breakeven Books did a great job with this reading challenge and he deserves all the credit. Show him and his channel some love HERE.

May your shelves be filled with great books and may the Force be with you all!

May Book Wrap Up 2021

Monthly reading review – May 2021

This May I have read:

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

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

Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić ★★★

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final thoughts on May 2021 reading

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

TBR Jar Draw – September 2020 update

I have read my last TBR Jar Draw book back in July when I was taking a break from reading challenges. The book I’ve read was:

The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell ★★★

I let my friend choose a book for me and I’m happy how it turned out. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and unhaul it by donating it to my local library. Last year I noticed they have a second book from this series but not the first. I got the book as a present and it is a bit too middle grade for my tastes. As middle grade books go it was a great read and I liked it. Before I donate it to the library my friend asked me to borrow it so she can read it too!

Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show by Glenn Yeffeth and The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood are going back into the TBR Jar!

Three new picks I pulled from the Jar back at the end of July were:

1# Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

This is the second book in an older book series from the eighties. I read the first book when I was very young and impressionable. I even made a post about it few years back as a part of the Books that changed me project and you can check it out HERE. When I stumbled on the second book by accident and at great price I decided to give it a chance. The reason I did not read it already is tied to the fact that I read the first book so very long time ago and I’m not sure how well I will be able to get into this book. Also, this book is quite a chubby one – 639 pages of chubby paperback edition! It might be a big commitment for a book I’m not sure I will like anymore and it is kinda hard to include it in reading challenges for that very reason!

2# The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

I remember a friend of mine telling me about this book. I remember I was intrigued and I don’t remember how I got it in the end. It is a Croatian edition and I already borrowed it to some people to read before I read it and that is a sure sign I am not that interested in it. It is one of those books that drop into your life by accident. As I understand the story is a bit dark and supernatural with a very young main character. I might pick it up in some of my darker moods or try to fit it into some reading challenge.

3# Angélique, le chemin de Versailles (Angelique 2) by Anne and Serge Golon

This is a second book in another older book series. This one is created by the french duo Anne and Serge Golon. It is a historical adventure book series and I’ve only read the first book when I was in high school I think. Again I have an issue with getting into the story after such a long time. Only this time I already own the whole book series of around twelve books in translation. They are kinda slow paced book and I’m worried how I can fit them into some reading challenges and finish them. It is another chubby edition with 640 pages.

This time I am at a complete lack of direction at which book out of these three to choose to read. I might even have to consult my friend for help!

TBR Jar Draw – July 2020 update

Lately I have been working at including my TBR Jar Draw picks into other reading challenges as much as possible. The last TBR Jar Draw book I have read I managed to include into two reading challenges in June. Considering that my pick was Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 1 by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson – a book over 650 pages long, I was very pleased with myself.

Holidays Are Hell (Short Stories from Hell) by Various authors and Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne went back into the TBR Jar.

For July I pulled three new picks from the Jar:

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

This is a collection of essays on the topic of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. This year I actually bought the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer seven seasons box set from Amazon UK page. I am gathering all my feelings of nostalgia and preparing for watching the series season by season again. I will read this sometime around that time to enhance my experience.

2# The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood

This is the book that draws me the most from all the picks this time. It is kinda short and lately I’ve come to appreciate shorter books because of the higher number of them I can read for challenges and in general. The cover and the description are vague enough. It is one of the books I’ve gotten as a free gift and I would like to read them and clear out my shelves up a bit.

3# The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell

I noticed this book when it was translated in Serbian few years back. I’ve gotten it as a gift and forgotten about it. I am not too enthusiastic about it being a book for kids but I am curious.

For this July I have let my friend decide my TBR Jar Draw pick and she went with The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell. Frankly it is the book with most pages and not the one I would have chosen for myself. Also I am glad for her interest and the extra motivation to pick up some of the books I’ve been meaning to read and probably pass on to someone else!