TBR Jar Draw – June 2020 update

Last month I was busy with reading challenges and nearly forgot to include the TBR Jar Draw book into my reading. For this reason I picked out tho shortest and the easiest solution for my TBR Jar Draw in May.

I have read:

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

This is a Croatian edition in hardcover by Bookglobe publisher. 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 with 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.

The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1) by Anthony Trollope AND Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond (The Hollows Short stories) by Kim Harrison went back into the Jar.

For June I pulled three new picks from the Jar:

1# Holidays Are Hell (Short Stories from Hell) by Various authors

This is a collection of urban fantasy short stories form some of the authors that are already known to me. I have three other compilations from Short Stories from Hell series and have already read them. There are three other which I don’t own and as time goes by it is less likely I will find them. This one has some Christmasy wibes and I would like to leave it for when I need a holiday theme book sometime in winter.

2# Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne

I am frustrated and annoyed for having accidentally ordered the wrong format of the last two books from the Iron Druid Chronicles book series. My mode worsens just by looking at the shelf and how out of place the book series now looks right there. This is not giving me any incentive to take and read the books in this series. If I had a paying job and money to get another editions that fit instead I would…right now I am just too annoyed to concentrate on reading these books and the more time passes the less I am motivated to give it a go…

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

This is my pick for June and I managed to include it in two other reading challenges for June! One is  Make Your Myth-Taker reading challenge which you can check out HERE And the other one is The Olympic Games which you can check out HERE This book is almost the size of the other two together so it will be a real challenge to read it.

January Book Wrap Up 2020

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Monthly reading review – January 2020

This January I have read:

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black ★★★★

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black ★★★★★

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

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison ★★★

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

This January I read 7 books total. I am happy with the amount and page count in particular.

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

All of the books were fantasy genre. The first half of January I was totally into Grishaverse and managed to read everything Leigh Bardugo had written related to Grishaverse. The second part of the month I was happily enjoying Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air series – I’m still confused as to why they are called that though :/ But the characters Jude and Cardan have become favorites right away!

originalThis is just one of the beautiful pictures I found of Cardan and Jude – all rights belong to the author and artist!

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

The only book I had any issues reading this month was The Witch With No Name. I got overwhelmed by the complicate metaphysics supernatural elements of the book. I let too much time pass between reading this last book of The Hollows series and the previous one. I had problems keeping up with the book plot. You can check out my review for more details HERE.

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

I made a list of the books I own I wish to read this year and five of them I read this January already. I’m very happy with that score and enjoy making reading plans so I can keep better track of my reading.  You can check out the whole list HERE. I will be making  a separate post and update on it later in February.

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

Having finished all books related to the Grishaverse universe I will have to wait for the next book in Nikolai duology which happens to be one of the most anticipated books this year! I have finally finished with The Hollows series by Kim Harrison (insert little happy/sad dance here). That felt like a chapter of my life has been finished as well – this is how long I was a devoted reader to this book series. As for The Folk of the Air book series – I managed to make a run trough the whole trilogy this month and will probably need to turn to some fanfiction and hope that the author writes some more books soon!

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

I have become a devoted reader fan to both Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black. I’m going to try some other books by Leigh Bardugo in February – primarily Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) which I have ordered and received already. Anyone who likes fantasy will probably like both of the Grishaverse and The Folk of the Air book series. I find the plot engaging and the books are just beautiful as well!

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Reading plans by the end of the year

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Making reading plans makes me feel energized and active. The activity of making lists is something I enjoy. This year’s Summer reading challenge made a good impression and I felt good about my reading and proud about the results. Mostly after finishing a book I have a few moments of being lost when I start thinking about what to read next.

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Having an actual list is soothing and relaxing. I like having options and seeing my own progress. And lately I miss seeing my own progress in general. Marking off books I’ve finished reading makes me feel giddy and satisfied.

There are a number of factors that will influence my reading by the end of this year and because of that I will not give myself a time limit but only strive to have at least one book of the list I will be reading at all times.

Here is the list of the books I’ve made a priority to read:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti,

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso

Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess #5-7) by Natsumi Andō

Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs

Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake

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I’ve chosen the books from my own shelves. All books are in the fantasy category and are mostly a part of the series I already love. The only exemption is science fiction Ender’s Game which I’m interested in for quite some time now – I borrowed the book and it is a first one in the series. The list includes graphic novels and manga editions which I wanted to add more but will keep them as a bonus on the side.

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On a whim I decided to go with fifteen books as I had in my last challenge. The time I needed for fifteen books in my Summer reading challenge was around two months and that is exactly what I’m going for by the end of the year!

Wish me luck!

Book series I almost finished reading

Blank Book Spine Row in Various Colours

I am a big fan of urban fantasy book series. I have many older (ten on more years from when they were first published) book series I was interested in. And then there are some I just added on my TBR without ever knowing if I will get the chance to read them at all.  Then there are some book series I have in my possession that I did not finish but for some reason stopped reading somewhere in the last few years or so. There are various reasons for not finishing a book series and while they may include not having the actual book to read to continue the series, it is usually something less straight forward than that…

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Here are some book series I started reading and did not finish. After some time the reasons for not finishing them all blur into forgetting about them. And forget about them I did so much so that even continuing reading the series requires some research into what book did I read last!

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The Hollows by Kim Harrison

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is a thirteen books long series I turned to when life got a bit hard to deal with. Sometimes these books served as a security blanket or something to hold onto when life pulled the ground under me. I even wrote about it in one of my Books that changed me posts. I own all thirteen books and have read all but the last one – The Witch With No Name. I distinctly remember enjoying the story and loving reading about the characters and I’m not really sure why I’m keeping myself from finishing this book series.

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Kushiel’s Universe series by Jacqueline Carey

Kushile’s Universe book series is a set of three trilogies that build upon one another and each has a different main protagonist. First three books are called Phedre’e Trilogy and the books four to six are called Imriel’s Trilogy by their respective main characters. The last three books and the only ones I did not read are called Naamah Trilogy by the name of the prominent deity Naamah in the books. While the first six books continue more or less directly and make a decent rounded story, the last trilogy is set some further time apart and after all the events of the previous books. In this one the main characters from first two trilogies are vaguely mentioned as their exploits have become an integral part of culture and history of this rich imagined world. For some reason I’m stuck on the last trilogy which I can feel staring at me from the shelves in a totally different edition design than the first two and they even might be a little angry I put them on a different shelf apart from the rest…

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Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid Chronicles was one of the rare book series I was reading together with my boyfriend. We both enjoyed it and he actually read maybe two books (I’m really not sure about the last book I’ve read) more than I did. But I read some of the short stories on Kindle and in some short story collections I got. I had to check on GR how many books in this book series is there at all and I’m still unsure which ones I’ve read. I know I have at least three books in my possession that I did not read from this series.

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Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

The Sookie Stackhouse book series was a recommendation I got from Amazon long before it was made into a popular TV show on HBO. Back then it was know as a Southern Vampire Mysteries and I was not too thrilled by that title. I ended enjoying the books more than I expected. It was one of the first book series I liked the UK editions design more than the US editions. When the TV show was popular I was glad it differed from the books so I can enjoy each separately and at my own leisure pace. But then they changed the design of the editions I was buying and I was unhappy about it so much so I postponed buying them all in order. Now I don’t know for sure which book I read last and keep forgetting the title of the one I’m missing – and It’s not the last one I’m missing either, I got the last one! Did I mention how irritated it makes me to see same publisher with such different cover design? Colors and sizes tend to jump around here. Just thinking about it all gives me a rash about the mess my reading is with this book series…

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Series

I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. So when they decided to continue the story trough graphic novels I was happy to have that to binge on.  They even named it Season 8 since the TV show ended with season seven. There was also Angel TV show and then there were graphic novels that continued Angel as well. Sometime in the last decade I lost track of it all. I did not get them all at the same time because they were still coming out and were a bit pricey for my budget at the time. I was not too thrilled with how the characters looked either. I would read them pretty quick and the long wait until I got the next one I would have to read them again and so on. Now I got the complete Season 8 and no clue as to which ones I’ve read. I stopped buying them at Season 9 and the more time passes so do the chances of me getting the rest or reading them all gets more slim. The thing is, the plot continues between Angel and Faith graphic novels and these and I’m really interested in those as well! I feel like I should start at the start with watching the TV show from scratch. The more I think about it the less I think I can spare that much time on it and I dislike the gaps in my understanding of the series.

Never-Again

There were some book series I stopped reading for not liking them enough as well! I made a conscious decision at some point that I did not enjoy the story or the characters were too irritating to continue. Here are two examples of those:

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Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

I started this book series without knowing much about it. Few years later when I decide I had had enough with the silly names and dislikeable characters this book series became a hit my country. I think that to this day it was one of the rare urban fantasy series that was translated whole into Croatian language. Although the appeal of erotic fiction was probably what did it for the mass market public I did not share in the craze of this one.

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Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux was a YA romace with aliens I was willing to try out because I never read any YA romance with aliens before! At first it was all cute and refreshing but after reading the third one I decided that these books are just to YA and too cute for what I was looking for. I’m still fond of this book series but I have decided I don’t really need to read any more of it. I guess I kinda grew out of the YA romance with aliens…

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What are your reasons for not finishing a book series? Do you have any advice for me?

TBR Jar Draw February 2018

I finshed my TBR Jar Draw for January fairly quickly. It was not a novel nor a short story but an indie RPG book The Shab-al-Hiri Roach by Jason Morningstar. Years back I used to play RPGs like Vampire the Masquerade and Dungeons and Dragons a lot more than I do now. I made a short review on the book and you can find it HERE.

After I finished this book I decided not to rush into the next TBR Jar Draw until February started. The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

# The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan

Dhampir (The Saga of the Noble Dead series #1) by Barb and J.C. Hendee

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1# Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

I got interested in this book because of a board game I love playing Chaos in the Old World. It is part of a larger fantastical universe of Warhammer Fantasy. To really explain why I bought this book and I’m not interested in others from this series I would have to read and review it.

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2# Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

This has been on my shelf so long that I am unsure have I read it or not. I’m pretty sure I have read at least one of the stories in it but never have I read it as a whole book. I follow the author Laurell K. Hamilton and love reading short stories in general.

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3# The Witch with no Name(The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

This is the thirteenth and the final book from The Hollows series. It is the only one I have not read. This series has been with me for more than a decade. I truly enjoy this urban fantasy series and have recently recommended it to a friend from my book club – and she loved it so much she went trough it on a span of few weeks. It would be good to finish a book series but it would also be a bittersweet experience since it is a series full of characters I love.

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All three options are good and inviting. I am a bit shamed for letting so many good books stay unread on my bookshelves. I’m having one of those moments where I’m glad to have started challenging myself to read more of the books from my bookshelves with TBR Jar Draw!