Quarterly Wrap-up Jan-Apr 2017

Okay, so this is being posted a little later than I had planned for it. And in my haste, I added in an extra month. I am okay with that, so I guess you’ll have to be okay with it too. But I promise I will do better next time. 

First Quarter Wrap-Up and Check In

So, I thought that I would still do Friday Reads and monthly wrap-ups, but I guess life had other plans. I am in no way complaining since most of my time has been consumed with my beautiful new baby girl and my rambunctious adorable 2 year old. I have also undertaken two new projects. One I cannot tell you about just yet. The other project is my Award Nominee Project. This is a bit time consuming but, my goal is to have it complete by the end of the year. For this project I am reading all of the novels, short stories, novella, novelettes and series that were nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards.  (The series will roll into next year).

But I wanted to check in to go over the books that I’ve read and the progress I’ve made with my reading goals and projects.

First the Books:

I have read a total of 42 books so far.  Here’s the Good Stuff—

My Favorites/5 stars:

5 novels and 3 short stories/novellas!!!

Queen's Own (Valdemar: Arro...

Heralds of the Queen trilogy by Mercedes Lackey

Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Merlin's Nightmare (The Mer...

 Merlin’s Nightmare by Robert Treskillard

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

The Rook (The Patrick Bower...

The Rook by Steven James

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander (Short Story)

The City Born Great

The City Born Great by N.K. Jemisin (Short Story)

The Ballad of Black Tom

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor Lavelle (Novella)

Series Completed/Caught up on

3!!!!

Heralds of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey (Finished)

Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (Caught up, Next book out in 2018)

Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris (Completed)

 

Least Favorite/ 2 stars or below

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Torched by April Henry

Department Zero by Paul Crilley

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

Books and Series that I’ve DNF’d

House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast

The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Ian Reid

Unfolding by Jonathan Friesen

Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

The Blue Enchantress by M. L. Tyndall

 

All in all, I would say that I have had a decent reading quarter. Now how did I do with my goals/projects? My next post will talk about this… I’m sure it was an epic fail though.

How has your reading been?

 

Always Shine!

February Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 12

Total Pages Read: 3434

Audio: 3

Digital:1

Print: 8

Review: 4

#offmyshelf: 2

Library: 6

My Favorite Read: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

My Most Disappointing Read: Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

My Most Surprising Read: Wild Born by Brandon Mull

MY Least Favorite Read: Torched by April Henry

How was your reading this month?

Always Shine!

So Far Saturday…….2/18

18I had planned on posting this last week, but I hadn’t finished very many books so I waited. I have fallen behind with my reading, but that’s okay. I thought that I would be on track with my reviews and everything, but I’ve read a few duds. I started and DNF’d a few. There is one that I am still reading, but I plan on finishing it this week. But this is what I have read so far…..

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10)

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse # 10

Purpose: Complete a Series

4 stars 

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially since I wasn’t too impressed with the last book. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed this installment. Yeah, a part of me is glad that I am coming to the end of the series. But with Dead in the Family everything and everyone seems to be connected. All of the issues that came up are family related. Eric has to deal with his maker and brother. Bill is reunited with an old family -like friend, and is able to address his human family. Sookie is mending fences with her brother  and cousin, as well as other family. Even the werewolves have to deal with internal issues.  But even in the background, a storm is brewing. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Sister Sister

Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin

Purpose: Review/Buddy Read

4 stars 

Full Review on the blog

Torched

Torched by April Henry 

Purpose: Read an Author’s Backlist

2 Stars 

I really wanted to like this book. Henry is an author that I respect because of all the work she puts into her books. I have also enjoyed the books that she co-written by Lis Wiehl. I did enjoy her debut book Shock Point. But this one was a bit disappointing. It was a short book, but it still took a while for me to get through. It was slow and boring. The entire situation with Ellie and the FBI was unrealistic and Henry didn’t make a believer out of me. Ellie and Coyote gets an undeserved happily ever after. And though she hardly knows him, her experience with the lynx has convinced  Ellie that she loves Coyote. Umm….no.

City of Wolves

City of Wolves by Willow Palecek 

Purpose: A Random Pick

3.5 Stars 

This was a nice quick read. It was super short, and for the most part the shortness worked in its favor. Drake appeared to be operating on insider information that we, as readers, are not privy too. This made following the murder mystery harder to follow. This also means that we have to trust the conclusions Drake comes to explicitly. But, I did enjoy this story.

True to You (Bradford Sisters #1)

True to You by Becky Wade 

Bradford Sisters #1

Purpose: PW Review

3 Stars 

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11)

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris 

Sookie Stackhouse #11

Purpose: Complete a Series

3 Stars

Okay, so there’s only 2 more books left in the series. I have mixed feelings about this. Once again death and drama surround Sookie. it’s her reaction that I find annoying. This time she plotted and planned and knew that it had to be done.  And yet, she is reacting as if this is the first time she’s had to face it. At this point, if she can’t handle it she need to cut ties and be done with it. But we also learn more about Sookie and her ties to the fairies. It is an interesting history, and I am curious to find out what the fairies are up to.

Binti (Binti, #1)

Binti By Nnedi Okorafor 

Binti #1

4 Stars 

Review will be on the Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog

January Wrap-Up

book mail 2

Since I’ve already shared my thoughts on the books that I’ve read this month, individually. I want to talk about the books collectively. I think that January has been a pretty good reading month. There was one book that I didn’t finished and two that were rated below 3 stars.  But for those who are interested in my reading stats, I’ll talk about those first.

Total Books Read: 11

Total Pages Read: 3507

Audio: 1

Digital: 3

Print: 7

Review: 4

#offmyshelf: 4

Library: 3

My Favorite Read: Arrow’s Fall by Mercedes Lackey

My Most Disappointing Read: Horizon by Scott Westerfeld

My Most Surprising Read: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

MY Least Favorite Read: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 

 

Always Shine!

January TBR

I am going to try something different this year. I want to do monthly TBRs so that I can stay focused on my review books and challenges. But I also want to pick books randomly. So I am going to do a combination.

Last Year I participated in #Readmyowndamnbooks through Estella’s Revenge blog. I am not sure if she is doing that again this year. But I am doing my own, and simply calling it Bookshelf Reads. I guess I will hashtag it, but this will be my random picks each month.

I have also created a Jar of books that I want to read via the library or books that I want to re-read. Each month I will pick one title from the Jar, and if there is time for another pick then I will.

Now to the books I will be reading in January:

 

Review Books:

Horizon (Horizon, #1) A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Horizon by Scott Westerfeld

Challenges:

Metamorphoses  Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1)

1001 Books to read before you die: The Metamorphoses of Ovid

The Classics Club: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Complete a Series: I am not sure which series I will be reading from this month, but I am keeping this challenge going for 2017.

Diverse Reads:

Cat Girl's Day Off

 A Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley

TBR Jar Pick:

This Is Our Story

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Kindle Reads:

Bluescreen (Mirador, #1)  Firstlife (Everlife, #1) Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1)

Bluescreen by Dan Wells

First Life by Gena Showalter

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

I realize that this is pretty ambitious TBR.  I am okay with not getting to every title on this list, because I will just roll the unread books to the following month.

Always Shine!

2017 Goals: A Review and Looking Ahead

 At the beginning of the year, I made some goals for my reading and blogging. I forgot to do a check in midway through the year, so I kind of forgot about them.  But as I was preparing for next year, I wanted to look back and see how well I did. Maybe I naturally gravitated towards these goals?  Let’s see!

2016

Reading:

  1. Read and clean up the assortment of books on my bookshelves (including books that are boxed up).  Didn’t happen. I did go through the boxes and purged some books – a lot of books.  But I still have way too many unread books on my shelves.
  2. Read and clean up my review stacks. Didn’t even make a dent in the backlog of review books
  3. Catch up on series that I’ve already started. I did make progress on this goal. I finished 6 series, made progress with 5 series.

Series I’ve Finished:

The Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong

The Croak series by Gina Damico

The White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

The Adventures of Finn MacCullen by Darby Karchut

The Stars Never Rise Duology by Rachel Vincent

Blogging:

  1. Post a review once a week. I didn’t do this.  Some weeks were better than others. But this was a fail.
  2. Post a monthly recap by the 3rd of the following month. I did better with this goal, especially towards the end of the year.
  3. Post a monthly focus (TBR) post. I stopped doing these and decided to just read at random.

 

Back in November, I decided to do Bi-monthly goals.  To save time I will only talk about the goals that I accomplished, since I will not be continuing them in the new year.

Do a weekly #FridayReads post-> I have been doing this, every week. I like it and sometimes this is the only post that goes up. I will continue this one.

Do a brief wrap up at the end of each month-> I have also been doing this one. This takes up a little more time, so I may do a bi-monthly wrap up so that the posts aren’t so long.

Accurately track books read and completed to see how many books I’m reading in a month-> I have been doing this. I read 9-10 books a  month without pushing to do more.

 

2017 Goals

 

  1. Read more books from my bookshelf, including my kindle. I would like to reduce the number of books I get from my library to 50%, only so that I can read more from my own stacks of books.
  2. Read 12 challenge books (Classics, Banned Books and/or 1001 Books to Read Before you Die)
  3. Complete 10 series or trilogies

This year I plan on doing a quarterly check in on my goals so that I can stay focused and not wait for the end of the year to come before I do a check in.

Always Shine!

My Reading in September

MONTHLY WRAP2

Okay, so I am still reading what I want. And for the most part, it’s working out for me. I have enjoyed most of what I’ve read, and I’ve only DNF’d 3 books.  I did get distracted from the series that I was reading, but I am making up for it now.

Saying that, I have decided to focus on series that I’ve already started and reading things for two challenges that I started late (100 best fairy tale retellings and 100 Science Fiction books written by women). That’s not to say that I won’t read other books, but I need to clear some books out of my shelves and out of boxes. I need the space, and since most of the series are ones that I’ve collected I want to read but not keep this seems the fastest way to do some shelf cleaning. Know what I mean?

Anyway, this is what  I read in September:

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4)   Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5)

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris  Sookie Stackhouse #4/ Dead as a Doornail  Sookie Stackhouse #5- I have been listening to this series on audio, and I love it! I really enjoy the narrator, the accents and voices. It makes the story that much better. Maybe next year I will read the series and see if I enjoy it that way as well.

Finn's Choice  (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #4)

Finn’s Choice by Darby Karchut The Adventures of Finn MacCullen #4-  This was the review book I picked for September, and the review has been posted. I really enjoyed this series, I love the characters and how everything ended. Though it was sad to say good-bye, I loved this book.

Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels, #3.5)

Magic Mourns By Ilona Andrews  Kate Daniels 3.5/ Retribution Clause  Kate Daniels World/ Magic Test  Kate Daniels 5.3- I took a break from the actual novels to go back and read the novellas. And while they have no bearing on the overall storyline, the novellas were enjoyable and provided insight to the other characters.  I liked getting glimpses into characters that would normally be in the background of the main characters and main events. Each one was treated with as much respect as the full-length novel and was just as enjoyable and engaging.

VSI by Nancy Holder  and  Spellcaster 2.0 by Jonathan Maberry – I read these two short stories as I was reading the Kate Daniels stories. I was very excited to see that the anthologies carried these authors, as I had been wanting to read some Jonathan Maberry (who has been an awesome facebook person) and wanting to get back into some Nancy Holder. Both of these stories I enjoyed. And I know that I need to get my hands on some of their full-length work sooner rather than later.

Books I didn’t finish:

Among Others by Jo Walton-  This was one of the books for the 100 best science fiction books written by women challenge. The person I partner read this with enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect or even like the main character, and I didn’t like the diary format that it was written in.

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia – This was another for the 100 best science fiction books written by women challenge. I made it half way through it. I enjoyed the first part, but then got bored quickly.

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner –  I picked this up because a friend was raving about the author. Being curious and wanting to branch out I picked up this title. It was okay to start, but it didn’t hold my attention. And this time it was a me problem and not a book problem.

Well that is all of my reading in Septemeber. We will see what happens in October.

Always Shine !