November Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – November 2020

This November I have read:

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

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

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

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

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ★★

The Reclusive Earl (Marriage by Fate #1) by Ruth Ann Nordin ★★★

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black ★★★★★

When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales #2) by Eloisa James ★★★★★

Beauty (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #20.5) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Ardeur: 14 Writers on the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

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

In November I have read 10 books. I read all five books for my Bookopoly TBR Game in first two and a half weeks and slacked for almost a week. I could have made more progress with some of the books I wanted to read by the end of the year so I’m in for a joy ride in December!

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

This November was full of great books for me. Some were a surprise and some exceeded my expectations! I was anxious about Wayward Son but was soon nicely surprised by very relatable characters and got very emotionally involved with the story as well. The Borders of Infinity provided me with more happy reading moments than expected and gifted me with newfound appreciation for the author and her writing style.

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories was a my happy surprise for November! I knw I would love it and I preordered the beautiful Waterstone edition and it was a first time I ordered anything from Waterstones ever! My preorder came almost a week early and I devoured it in two days even though I was trying to pace myself a bit slower and read some parts more than once!

Also my Kindle reads this month made the top marks for me as well. I am surprised at how much my reading experience in November was good.

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

The Phantom of the Opera started out promising but I had trouble getting into the setting of the story. The architecture and the theater were just so surreal to me. I could not stop pitting the writing style with the more modern books and it did not end well for The Phantom of the Opera.

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

I already mentioned that I went trough my monthly readathon challenge a lot faster than I anticipated and blown the rest of the month away not reading anything from my huge pile of books I choose for my personal reading challenge by the end of the year. I can’t stop thinking I could have done better but I guess now that I look at it I had way to much fun in my other reading to complain!

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

How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories was like a cake topping after reading the rest of the series and I loved it. Wayward Son got me really excited in waiting on the next book to come out. The Borders of Infinity reminded me that I still have so many book from the Miles Vorkosigan saga I still need to read! I started one new book series with The Scent of Shadows and I plan to continue it next year. Reading Beauty (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #20.5) helped me with going back on track and wanting to continue my reread of the whole series even though this particular novella is a bit out of order since I need to continue with another book of the series!

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

I have so many great books on my bookshelves and my goal of reading more books I own is something I am constantly working on. This is a personal goal and it helped me a lot with reading more books I enjoy and feel better about reading the books from my own bookshelves. My recommendation is to set more personal reading goals and reflect on books you enjoy more often!

Final thoughts on November 2020 reading

I was spazzing out and not making many posts this November and I get that way when I get lost in the books I read. I will have to work on this more actively! Wish me luck!

Bookopoly TBR game – November and December 2020

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

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

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

Prompt: Nature on the Cover

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

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

Prompt: Chance card

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

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

Prompt: TBR Veteran

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

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

Prompt: Disability representation

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

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

Prompt: Young Adult

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bookopoly TBR game – November 2020

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

Here are my five rolls for November:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Urban fantasy series I want to read

Daniel_Dos_Santos_14a

When it comes to urban fantasy book series I tend to be a sort of a megalomaniac. I want to read so many of them that to actually do it I would need to retire at thirty and spend my time reading books for the rest of my existence!

Here are a few book series I would like to read sometime in the future:

Signs of the Zodiac book series by  Vicki Pettersson

scent of shadows

 

  This is by far the cover with most text on it I have ever seen.

  “When she was sixteen, Joanna Archer was brutally  assaulted and left to die in the Nevada desert.

  This is a story with a survivor heroine and that inspires me to read it!

  I already own first two books, so that’s a plus as well!

  First book is called The Scent of Shadows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shifters book series by Rachel Vincent

rachel vincent

I first read a short story by Rachel Vincent in Chicks Kick Butt anthology. The story was named Hunt and i really liked   it!

  There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . . And I’m one of them. 

  This series has a bit more erotic themes in it but it is a story with a female character that chooses her own life path   and right now I am going trough a phase where I am into that.

  First book is called Stray.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fever book series by Karen Marie Moning

darkfever

This is one of the books that many of my fellow readers praised. It came out while I was still in college and didn’t have as much time to read and browse the bookstores for new reading materials. As you can see I am compensating now!

  “When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers.”

  Another strong minded female lead choosing a path on her own.

  First book is called Darkfever.

 

 

 

 

 

This is it for now. I need to take baby steps if I’m ever gonna get to the reading part!