2016 Reading/Blogging Goals

I still cannot believe I’m making this post. 2015 is falling away, leaving 2016 behind. Where does the time go? Seriously? Between working full-time, writing, taking care of my family and house, and reading I’m lucky I notice the days.
But it’s here, the end of year posting when everyone puts up their goals, plans, and wrapups. Actually, since I’m pre-writing this, it’s been here! So here is yet another ‘Goals‘ post.

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Authors To Read In 2016

I figured I’d make a list of authors I want to read at least one book by in 2016. I read a lot of books in a year, and due to my moody reading I can bounce all over the place and read a little bit of everything and not pay attention to goals. There are authors though that have been haunting the edges of my TBR for months or years that I just have not gotten to. So I’m setting myself concrete goals here.
I want to read these authors in 2016.

  • Sarah Waters – She’s the favorite of many ‘tubers and bloggers I enjoy and I want to read more literature. Her books often, if not always (?) feature lesbian protagonists, something else that I want to read more of!
  • Charles Dickens – I feel like this doesn’t need an intro. I’m on a classics roll so I finally want to get to some of the classics, Dickens being one of the biggest.
  • Ali Smith – Another author that features LGBTQ+ themes, Ali Smith is a popular UK author that I’d never heard of till this year. I’ve heard only good things and can’t wait to pick up some of her work.
  • Chuck Wendig – I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I read all his blog posts, I’ve read his writing books, I follow him on twitter and facebook. I just haven’t gotten any of his novels under my belt! I have his entire YA trilogy on my kindle. That’ll be my first ones I knock out.
  • Faith Hunter – I’m really excited about this new UF series. My husband picked up the first one for me in the bookstore a few months back, he was intrigued by the Native American themes, and it’s been sitting beside my PC since. I’m trying desperately to finish or catch up on a few other series before I crack into another, but this might be my next long series I start.
  • Jen Campbell – I might be starting Jen’s poetry early in the year, but I follow her online and love her videos. I can’t wait to finally pick up (a) some poetry and (b) something from her!
  • Beth Revis – This is another Chuck Wendig. I have a few books by her, I enjoy her online presence but I just haven’t gotten to her novel. *Shame*
  • Kristy Logan – The Gracekeepers came out a few months back and another short story collection is coming up from this author. I cannot wait to get to either as I’ve heard nothing but good things.
  • David Mitchell – This author has a huge backlog of things I could pick up so at this point I’m just on the fence deciding. I’m thinking I’ll pick up Bone Clocks then The Slade House as the two are supposed to weave together.
  • Haruki Murakami – I want to read more Japanese literature, and I’ve heard that Murakami is excellent for fans of magical realism and SFF. Not to mention the glowing reviews I’ve seen of his work, he’s made it high on my list.

Who else should be on this list, any ideas?

Top 5 Wednesday : Books to Read by the Fire (winter/holiday recommendations)

Top5Wed

So… I’m not good at seasonal recommendations, let’s be honest here. However the winter is a season in which most people are curled up and reading, stuck inside. So I have a few ideas for these (I’m again going to avoid Harry Potter, everyone will be recommending Harry Potter, lets get real)!
Top 5 is of course created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey. And as usual these are not in any specific order. Continue reading

2015 #Cramathon TBR

So I thought I’d get in the spirit of things and give this Cramathon a go again. Last time I did one of these I didn’t do well and wound up distracted by life. Hopefully this time it’ll be easier and more toned down – due to the holidays, and I’ll have the time to read!
The Cramathon takes place from December 19th (12 AM) to December 22nd (12 AM). There are 7 challenges this time, some of which I’m not sure I’ll complete but I am going to try.

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Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Demigod Files and The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan – Finish a series
Monsters by Emerald Fennell – Read five books
The Business of Death by Trent Jameson
– Read a bind-up
New Spring (Graphic Novel) by Robert Jordan
– A graphic novel (catch up)
The Builders by Daniel Polansky
– A book under 200 pages / Read an ebook
Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato
 – A book previously DNF’d

Fingers crossed! I switch The Demigod Diaries out for another book, I haven’t quite settled on that one, but I tried to go with books I’d be able to read through pretty quickly. The only one I’m worried about is the bind-up, but the text is large so it shouldn’t be to bad.
Anyone else doing this?

Guilty Pleasure Reading : Should I feel guilty?

I’ve been pondering this idea of ‘guilty pleasure’ reading lately. I’m not sure what brought it on, possibly discussions of genre vs canon and the worth of a reader that I’ve seen or heard lately. The idea that someone should be ashamed or thought less of for what they read bothers me on a fundamental level, and so it got me thinking about the term ‘guilty pleasure’ reading. I even did some experiments of a very unscientific manner to see what I thought of books that might often be called this. Also find out where and why I thought they were books I needed feel guilty about, find the root of the problem.
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Mini Reviews : Volume 6

Volume six is going to be a little lackluster I feel. For that, I’m sorry. *shame* Last week was… a blur? I don’t remember much of it honestly. But here is what my Goodreads tells me I read!

 

GotYourNumberI’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
☆☆☆☆

Chick-lit is something I’ve not gotten into until recently. I’m trying out different types of ‘guilty pleasure’ books for science!, but honestly it was fun. I’ll definitely be picking up more Sophie Kinsella, not only because I have a stack that I got for super cheap but because I liked her writing style. The present tense, first person narrative is something I want to see more of, especially done well.
This was also just a cute romance with the story of growing a backbone and facing what scares or hurts you. A good message overall

 

Giovanni (Vampire the Masquerade: Clan Novels #10) by Justin AchilliGiovanni
☆☆☆☆

This might be one of my favorites of the Clan Novels so far. It really does a great job showing what immortality can do to a person, how they have to loose that ability to love and how the Beast affects them.  This is part of the reason I love VtM so much. The characters are flawed and deeply unsettling, but really if humans were given immortality how else would they be?
It was dark and grim, and of the clans I knew the least about the Giovanni so it was really interesting. A Mob style Clan with the messed up at the bottom and the downright disturbing and terrifying individuals at the top. They’re by far the most interesting of the clans I’ve read about so far. I’d like to see more of them and their political structure. And OH MY GOD a Methuselah, I almost shit my pants.

 

VanishingGirlsVanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
☆☆☆☆

I really like Lauren Oliver’s writing style. I always fly through her books, most of them I’ve read in one sitting. This one has been hanging out on my self since it came out. It’s hard to say just what didn’t connect for me in the review without a spoiler but it was entirely personal in nature (there is a twist that’s become a trope that I’ve just read a lot of lately). It’s a well written and really emotionally involving book. If anyone is interested in a HUGE spoiler I’ll let you know what it was that got me. Like I said it was entirely my own taste that got this one messed up.

 

The Governess Affair & A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister 0.5 and 1.5) by Courtney Milan
☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

I didn’t post any review of these two on Goodreads but I enjoyed both. The first one was alright, a fun background on one of the characters established in book one. The second, A Kiss For Midwinter was my favorite of the two though. It was sweet and I really enjoyed both characters a lot, especially the doctor. Courtney Milan does a good job in short story format, her plotting was great.

 

Mini-Reviews: Volume 5

We’re back! We’re also agreeing right now, wrong or right that this is volume 5 and any missing volumes were always there just simply not available to view. If they are there now to look back at then excellent! They’ve returned!

 

TheDuchessWar

The Duchess War (Book One of The Brothers Sinister Series) by Courtney Milan
☆☆☆☆

   This is one of those I didn’t talk about on Goodreads. I enjoyed this for all it’s cheese as an obvious historical romance. The characters had some genuine feeling and depth to them, for the most part. And while I didn’t connect so well with some of the secondary characters I read the follow-up novella A Kiss for Midwinter and it was adorable. I hoping to have up a post about my thoughts on romance and ‘guilty pleasure’ books soon. I considered this research… that I had to buy a second book and two short stories of…
If you like sweet romance novels though, seriously, this is great.

 

Amazonia by James Rollins Amazonia
☆☆☆☆

     I’m usually not one for thrillers, in fact I have read very few adult thrillers. I think maybe just Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code and Angels and Demons? My dad recommended this one and not two days later it popped up on my Youtube feed. so I grabbed my own copy.
It was a lot of fun! I love the unknown, things I can’t predict or things that are so weirdly over the top that I don’t expect them. This pulled that off. Sure it had some of the tropes and conventions you would expect but it had just enough wierd to really invest me. I’m looking forward to the next one, and hoping it will have that same weirdness.
Alcatraz

Alcatraz versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
☆☆☆☆

I’ve had the first three books in this series on my self for a while and finally grabbed this one up for a fast read. It is really fast and it’s really funny. There is a lot of humor in this that kids will find refreshing and a lot of stuff I think adults will really enjoy as well.
The best bit was likely the talks about ‘great and deep’ books all having dogs dying, especially after hearing Mr. Sanderson talk about the reasons why he didn’t like to read as a kid (the dogs were always dying!). Great stuff, I’d really recommend it for kids and adults

 

Domnall

Domnall and the Borrowed Child by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
☆☆☆

A fun and enchanting read, this was probably the shortest of the Tor Novellas that I read. The length fit the story however, as it was very much a self contained fairy tale. Though not the strongest that I’ve read from the line of novellas I still enjoyed it.

 

Books I want to finish BEFORE 2016

Alternately titled : This isn’t a TBR, we all know I fail at those
Though really I’m aware it is by it’s very nature a TBR, I just refuse to call it that. If I call it by it’s real name it gives it power.

So as of writing this it’s December 1st. It’ll be December 3rd or later when you read it but the point stands that it’s the beginning of the end for 2015. It was a good year… I think. Where the hell did it go? I don’t know, do you know? I got a lot of good reading done, most of it was stuff I didn’t expect, but I’m a mood reader. Expect the unexpected with this girl.
There are a few books I want to get to before the end of the year though. A few, not many, as I have less than 30 days to do this. I generally read 5-10 books a month depending on the books. I prefer not to push myself into ‘required reading’ though (as that causes slumps) so I have picked just the bare minimum.

  • The Last Ever After (The School of Good & Evil Book 3) by Soman Chainani 
    I want to finish this series before 2016!
  • Witches Be Crazy by Logan J. Hunder
    This was my husband and I’s Book Date Day pick for me and I still haven’t gotten to it. To be fair he hasn’t read The Lies of Locke Lamora so we’re even.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
    Doesn’t everyone want to read this?
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    I have a real hankering for more classical literature, especially the gothic horror variety and this one is calling my name from the small TBR pile it occupies.
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandi Nelson
    This is a tentative one as I’ve heard amazing things about this and just got a gorgeous paperback but I don’t know if I’m feeling contemporary right now. We’ll see on this one.

So I’m off to pretend this isn’t a TBR and try to read these. Fingers crossed I can actually achieve a reading TBR goal before the end of the year.
Fingerscrossed