Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Book Series You Wish Had More Books

To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
It's been almost a month since I've posted on this blog, and for that I'm truly sorry.  My life just got out of hand and something had to go, so my reading and writing were put on hiatus.

Now, I am trying to ease back into both activities, and the best way to start on Infinite Ink again is by participating in T5W.

This week's topic is "Book Series You Wish Had More Books."  Let's do this!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Character Tropes

To find out more about T5W, check out the Goodreads group.
I've been really busy this month, so I've been neglecting my Top 5 Wednesday posts.  However, I'm back this week to discuss my favorite character tropes.

Three of my choices are very closely related, and many characters overlap each category.  Therefore, I suppose you could reason that I have a literary "type."  So, please pardon me for my lack of variety.

Let's get into it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Narrated by Anna Massey
Hachette Audio
3 September 2014
14 hours and 38 minutes
Classic Gothic
4 Stars

Audible; Goodreads

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again....

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives - resenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Comic Book 101 - Formats

I am by no means a comic book expert.  I gained interest in the medium only in the past few years, and I've hardly made an impact in my exploration of the many excellent titles and genres.

Yet, I realize that comic book reading is becoming trendier and many people are also newcomers.  Therefore, it stands to reason that others are having the same issue with comic book terminology as I did in the beginning.

So, this post is all about the various formats comics are offered in.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Disney Book Tag

Today I am completing the Disney Book Tag! I was elected by Ben of Ben's Bookshelf, and you can see his original post here.

This actually took quite a bit of consideration to complete, so enjoy my answers.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June Wrap-Up

I didn't get a great amount of reading in this month, but I'm accepting of this. Some months are just like that.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Chapter Headings

To learn more about Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is favorite chapter headings, which is quite difficult for me as I don't pay excess attention to them.  Moreover, many of the books I read merely number the chapters.  In light of this, my list is made up of chapter headings I liked from the books I've read most recently.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

This tag has been going around for a substantial amount of time and is quite popular.  Over the last few weeks, I have amused myself by reading other's answers to it, so I decided to complete it myself. Here are my unpopular opinions!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You Wish You Could Drown

To learn more about Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group
This week's topic is hilarious. We all know those characters who are beyond frustrating. They make you so angry that you just want to hold their nonexistent heads under water.

These are mine. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Rithmatist Series Book One
Tor Books
14 May 2013
384 Pages
Middlegrade Fantasy
3.5 Stars
Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

(I bought my hardcover copy at The Book Outlet)

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Read in One Sitting

To learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and see a full list of participants, see the Goodreads group.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is Books You Read in One Sitting.  When I have free time, I often read books all in one go, staying up all night reading while my family sleeps.  I can't remember all of the ones I have done so with; therefore, except for first place, this list is made up of the last five I know I truly enjoyed. (I'm not including comic books in this, though, because it's in their nature to be read in one sitting.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Coffee Book Tag

Whilst perusing emdoesbookreviews, I found a tag I really like. And since she tagged everyone who reads her post, I decided to participate, as well.

This is the Coffee Book Tag!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Literary Love: 15 Favorite Bookish Feelings

Today I want to talk to you about some of my favorite book-related feelings or moments that bring about great feeling.

This post idea was originated by Ashley at climbthestacks, who was, in turn, inspired by a Hank Green video. So please check out their videos.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books With Multiple POVs

To learn more about Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is top 5 books with multiple points of view, preferably more than two.

Since many of my favorite books meet this criteria, I have tried to list some that I haven't previously mentioned.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
Mark of the Lion Book One
Tyndale House Publishers
1 October 2012
525 Pages
Christian Historical Fiction
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

The first book in the bestselling Mark of the Lion series, A Voice in the Wind brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget—Hadassah. Torn by her love for a handsome aristocrat, this young slave girl clings to her faith in the living God for deliverance from the forces of decadent Rome.

Friday, June 5, 2015

May Wrap-Up & June TBR

Hello June, and hello summer!  Now that I am officially on summer break, I look forward to much leisure reading.  In anticipation, I've put together a humble TBR list of books I know I'll be reading for read-a-longs.

Before I get into that, though, let's take a look at the books I finished in May.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Books of the Year So Far

To join Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
We are now in June, ladies and gentlemen, which means that the year is almost half over.  Honestly, I can't believe it.  I still feel like 2015 has just started.

The first Top 5 Wednesday topic for this month is "Favorite Books of the Year So Far."  I have had an immensely successful reading year thus far, mostly because I have read quite a few enjoyable books.  So let's see what the top five up to this point are.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Armchair BEA 2015: Character Chatter

For me, the most important components of a book are the characters. Even more than the plot and the writing, a book is made memorable by the characters created.

But what makes a good main character?

Armchair BEA 2015: Introduction Questions

I know that I'm late to the party, but I just found out about Armchair BEA yesterday. So...better late than never.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, Armchair BEA is a virtual conference for bloggers who can't attend Book Expo America or the BEA Bloggers Conference. If you want to learn more, check out the official blog.

The kickoff post was supposed to go up on Wednesday, but I'm still going to do it because it's a set of introduction questions (of which I choose five), and introductions are always important.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park

"Happiness came that day - she knew nothing - and asked her to say yes and she did not. Why did she assume it would come back again, when there were so many others waiting for it to visit" (pg. 245)?

This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park
Simon & Schuster
6 March 2012
336 Pages
Literary Fiction
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads 

On the eve of her marriage, beautiful and strong-willed Soo-Ja Choi receives a passionate proposal from a young medical student. But caught up in her desire to pursue a career in Seoul, she turns him away, having impetuously chosen another man who she believes will let her fulfill her dreams. Instead, she finds herself tightly bound by tradition and trapped in a suffocating marriage, her ambition reduced to carving out a successful future for her only daughter. Through it all, she longs for the man she truly loves, whose path she seems destined to cross again and again.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Top 10 Recommendations for Classic Literature Beginners

Ever since discovering Frances Hodgson Burnett as a young girl, I have loved classics.  Though they can be dry and difficult to understand, I find them witty and intelligent, with themes that persist over time.

However, not everyone feels this way.  Many people struggle with classics, especially when forced to read them for class.  As someone who loathes being forced to read, I completely understand this.  Moreover, I think that many of the books chosen for curriculum are not selected for their enjoyability.

Yet, even with having a few horrible experiences in literature classes throughout my academic career, I think that classics can be entertaining, hilarious, thought-provoking, and tear-inducing.  So, if you're interested in trying out classics again (or even for the first time), here are ten that I would recommend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Debut Novels

To learn more about Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top 5 debut novels.  For this list, a few came immediately to mind, but I had to research in order to fill the rest of the slots.  

Let's see what I chose.

Book Review: The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa

The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa
Picador USA
22 January 2008
164 Pages
Japanese Literature
3 Stars

Barnes & NobleBook Depository; Goodreads

The first major English translation of one of contemporary Japan's bestselling and most celebrated authors From Akutagawa Award-winning author Yoko Ogawa comes a haunting trio of novellas about love, fertility, obsession, and how even the most innocent gestures may contain a hairline crack of cruel intent.  A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool--a peculiar infatuation that sends unexpected ripples through her life.  A young woman records the daily moods of her pregnant sister in a diary, taking meticulous note of a pregnancy that may or may not be a hallucination--but whose hallucination is it, hers or her sister's?  A woman nostalgically visits her old college dormitory on the outskirts of Tokyo, a boarding house run by a mysterious triple amputee with one leg.  Hauntingly spare, beautiful, and twisted, The Diving Pool is a disquieting and at times darkly humorous collection of novellas about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Wrap-Up

Bout of Books 13 is over, and I am already having withdrawals!  The next one is in August, so be sure to follow the Bout of Books blog in order to stay informed about sign-ups for that.

I had originally set goals for myself that I deemed completely reasonable given my schedule.  However, these did not account for Typhoon Dolphin, which hit Guam on Friday night.  My power and water were out until Sunday evening, and having to prepare for the typhoon, cope with the darkness, and then clean up afterward really cut into my reading time.  Hence, I did not achieve all of my goals; however, I am still pleased with what I did manage.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bout of Books 13: From Modern to Classic Challenge

Day four's challenge is being hosted by Rebecca at Ranty Runt of a Reader.

Her challenge is for readers to name one book, published after 2005,  that they expect to be a classic in 100 years and give two reasons why.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Midway Update

It's Thursday afternoon here, and I'm halfway through with Bout of Books!

I feel like that went really fast, and I hope to make the most of the rest of my time.  So far, I'm pleased with how this week has gone.  I have gotten a fair bit of reading in, as well as participated in a few challenges.

Let's look at my progess thus far, shall we?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Challenge - Bookish Survey

Today is the first in the Bout of Books week-long read-a-thon!  And with today comes the first challenge.

Today's challenge is over at Writing My Own Fairy Tale, so thank you to Lori for kicking the week off with an awesome giveaway.

For today, there is a short list of bookish questions to be answered.  So let's get to them.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Goals & Tracking Spreadsheet

Bout of Books 13 is this week, and I am ready for it.  Even though I will be busy throughout the week, I want to set aside as much time as I can to concentrate on just lazing around with a good book.

I have set very loose goals for myself, as well as put together a pull-pile.  As always, I reserve the right to deviate from this stack of books.  They are just what I anticipate wanting to read throughout the week.

I am also providing my progress spreadsheet if you want to track your reading throughout the week.

Book Review: Death of the Family (Batman Vol. 3) by Scott Snyder

Death of the Family by Scott Snyder
Batman Volume 3 (The New 52)
DC Comics
12 November 2013
176 Pages
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

After having his face sliced off one year ago, the Joker makes his horrifying return to Gotham City! But even for man who's committed a lifetime of murder, he's more dangerous than ever before! How can Batman protect his city and those he's closest to? It all leads back to Arkham Asylum.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 5 Wednesdays: Books I'd Want to See as TV Shows

If you want to join Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's T5W topic is books you'd love to see as television shows.  This doesn't include books you'd like to see as movies.

Since I don't really watch television, this is a difficult topic for me, but when I envision them as mini-series, it becomes much easier.  

So, let's get into my list of books I'd love to see brought to life on the TV (or Netflix).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Book Review: The City of Owls (Batman Vol. 2) by Scott Snyder

The City of Owls by Scott Snyder
Batman Volume 2 (The New 52)
DC Comics
2 April 2013
208 Pages
3 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Night of the Owls continues here! Batman must stop the Talons that have breeched the Batcave in order to save an innocent life...and Gotham City! In the backup story, learn more about the Pennyworth family and the secrets they've kept from the Wayne family!

Friday, May 1, 2015

April Wrap-Up and May TBR

How is it already May?  We're almost halfway through 2015, and I am feeling jet lagged.  How is it that time moves so slow when you're a child, but increasingly picks up speed as you age?

With the first of the month comes my wrap-up from last month.  And even though I don't normally do TBRs, I started a few books last month that I want to continue, and there are two books I already know I have to read, so I decided to do one.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bout of Books 13

Gah! Bout of Books 13 is rapidly approaching, and I am so excited. This will be my fourth time participating because I've loved it every time. Not only does it motivate you to devote a whole week to reading, but it also connects you to readers all over the world. I always get to chat with the loveliest people on Twitter and find new bloggers to follow. And the challenges and prizes are just an added bonus. Bout of Books is always a fun time, so I'm really looking forward to it.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, but you want to find out more, here's some info from the official site:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

If you're considering joining in, I encourage it. There's no pressure or competition. It's really just an excuse to read and have fun with other people who love books as much as you. What's better than that?  

Read-a-thons are also great for breaking reading slumps. For other tips, check out my recent post on how to deal with reading slumps!

Find me on Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram, and Bloglovin.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Review: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
The Mistborn Trilogy #3
Gollancz, 11 February 2010
768 Pages
5 Stars

Book Depository; Goodreads

Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson's saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dewey's Read-a-Thon End of Event Meme

And so ends this 24-hour read-a-thon!  How did you all do?

It started at 10 PM my time, and I was able to read until 3 am before I had to sleep.  Today, however, I wasn't able to read too much because of church and an unplanned nap.  C'est la vie.

I was able to complete a few mini-challenges, though, and just as I did the opening meme last night, here are the end of event meme questions.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Classic Words of Wisdom Mini-Challenge

It's time to take a break and participate in a challenge! This one is being hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey.

She asked that we choose a favorite wise quote from a classic text and explain its meaning to us.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Opening Meme

Dewey's Read-a-Thon is upon us!  I believe that this is my third time participating, and I enjoy it every time.  I won't be able to read the full 24-hours because the timing overlaps with my church time, but I am going to try to read as much as possible.

If you haven't seen my TBR yet, you can find it here.

In anticipation of it starting, I am going to answer the opening meme questions.  Let's get into them.

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon TBR

Dewey's Read-a-Thon starts in about 30 minutes, and I'm really excited for it. Though I had signed up, I didn't think I would be able to participate. Thankfully, however, my time zone has me reading through the night, so it won't interfere with my day activities too badly.

I don't normally do TBR lists, but I have found that such a short read-a-thon demands organization to maximize reading time. Therefore, I have put together a list to pull from.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Reader Ramble: How I Deal with a Reading Slump

There are seasons in life when I have so much time and motivation that I'm able to average a book every day or two.  I always feel so accomplished as I see my TBR shelf shrink, and I love to be able to spend an entire day lounging about with a book.

However, there are other times in life when I can't find it within myself to read.  Either I can't find the focus or I'm lacking the energy.  Or sometimes I'm just too busy to dedicate hours to leisure reading.  This has been true for me for the past six months or so, and I've developed a few strategies to help me through these reading slumps.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Feature Traveling

If you want to join Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's T5W topic is books that feature traveling from any genre.

Of course, the books that immediately came to mind are those that I always talk about, especially On the Road.  So, in an effort to talk about new books, I'm leaving those aside.

So, let's look at my top 5.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Frustrating Characters

If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, please check out the Goodreads group.  All the topics are listed there, as well as everyone who participates, so you can explore other lists like mine.

This week's topic is Most Frustrating Characters.  You know those characters that you just want to scream at because they never do what you want them to?  This list is made for them.

Here are mine:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Top 10 Spring Reading Recommendations

The month of April marks the beginning of spring for many around the world.  The weather is thawing out, jackets are being left behind, nature is blooming, and students are preparing for final exams.  Traditionally, it's also a season of love and flirtation.

With all that in mind, here are ten books that I recommend for this beautiful season.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Wanted to Start Yesterday

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is books I wanted to start yesterday.  If you want to participate in weekly topics like this, check out the Goodreads group.

There are many, MANY books on my to-read list, and for the most part, I'm fine with their status.  I am a mood-reader, so I pick up whatever I feel like reading whenever I feel like reading it.  However, there are a few that I wish I had read already for various reasons.

Friday, April 3, 2015

March Haul & Wrap-Up

For most of you, April means the coming Spring and warm weather.  On Guam, it's always sunny, and the only weather fluctuation in weather is sunny and raining or not raining.  I still get Spring break from teaching, however, so I'm hoping to be able to get a good deal of reading in.  Before I start that, though, let's wrap up March.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday:Favorite Jokester Characters

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme where bloggers and Booktubers feature their top 5 choices for each week's topic.  If you want to join in, check out the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is favorite jokester characters, which is a great one.  A few immediately spring to mind, and one choice is bound to be on most people's lists.  

Let's get into it!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: The Court of Owls (Batman Vol. I ) by Scott Snyder

The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder
Batman Volume I (The New 52)
DC Comics
New York, NY; 15 May 2012
176 pages
4 Stars 

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
Random House, I June 1991
159 Pages
Graphic Memoir
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Maus is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself.

Moving back and forth from Poland to Rego Park, New York, Maus tells two powerful stories: the first is Spiegelman's father's account of how he and his wife survived Hitler's Europe, a harrowing tale filled with countless brushes with death, improbable escapes, and the terror of confinement and betrayal. The second is the author's tortured relationship with his aging father as they try to lead a normal life of minor arguments and passing visits against a backdrop of history too large to pacify. At all levels, this is the ultimate survivor's tale - and that, too, of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Worst Series Enders

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is a weekly meme that covers a variety of topics.  If you want to join, please check out the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is Worst Series Enders, which is difficult for me.  I am pretty bad at finishing book series.  If I'm not enraptured by the first book or two, it takes a long time for me to pick up the next ones.  Additionally, I'm not good at reading a complete series back-to-back, so even if I loved it, I will often takes a few months break between books.

So, because I don't always finish series, and because those I do finish are often fantastic, I didn't have much to choose from.  I was only able to put together a few.  And if the topic didn't clue you in, there will be spoilers, so be warned.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
Rutledge Hill Press, U.S., 5 November 2013
336 Pages
Christian Fiction
2 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Mistborn Trilogy #2
Gollancz, 10 December 2009
800 Pages
5 Stars

Book Depository; Goodreads

The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler – the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years – has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.

As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Habits

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is bookish habits.

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey, from gingerreadslainey, and it's a weekly meme where bloggers and vloggers can list their top 5 picks for that week's topic.  If you want to join in on the fun, please check out the Goodreads group.

I don't have too many bookish habits as I am not really a creature of habit.  However, there are a few things that I find myself often doing, so let's get into them, yes?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Made Me Think

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is books that made me think.  If you want to join in on this meme, check out the Goodreads group.

I love this week's list because I get to highlight books that I haven't really talked about yet.  I love books that challenge me, and these ones definitely did.

Let's get into it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

25 Random Facts About Me

I love reading book blogs and watching BookTube, but I also really appreciate getting to know the person I'm subscribed to beyond their bookshelves.  It makes me feel more connected and makes them seem more whole.  

So, with that in mind, I want to do something a little different and a little more personal for today's post.  Though a few details about me have leaked into some of my writings, I have yet to write a non-book related post.  Therefore, I'd like to further introduce myself by giving you twenty-five random facts about me.  

I hope that you enjoy this change of pace.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
The Mistborn Trilogy #1
Gollancz, 1 October 2009
672 Pages
4.5 Stars
Book Depository; Goodreads

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken, half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I'd Save in a Fire

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top books I would save in a fire.

Unlike most Top 5 lists, this one took very little thought as I know which books in my collection are the most important to me.  Though it would kill me to loose the rest of my library, these few are irreplaceable.

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Haul & Wrap-Up

This month I'm combining my haul and wrap-up posts into one because I neither bought nor read many books.

I succeeded in cutting back on my purchasing, only adding five books to my shelves.  And instead of reading several short, light works, I finished two longer, complicated novels and one very heavy non-fiction work.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Best Character Arcs

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is the Best Character Arcs/Development.  If you want to participate in the Top 5 Wednesday meme, check out the Goodreads group.

Most of the time, character development is more important to me than the plot.  Even if the story is fast-paced and exciting, I can't fully enjoy it if the characters are one-dimensional.  I appreciate a complex, well-developed character.

Here are some of my favorites who also have excellent arcs.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Book Review: Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Translated from Swedish

St. Martin's Press; 28 October 2008
472 pages
Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Twelve-year-old Oskar is obsessed by the murder that's taken place in his neighborhood.  Then he meets the new girl from next door.  She's a bit weird, though.  And she only comes out at night...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Friend Groups I Want to Join

It's always enjoyable to read about a group of characters whose friendships sharpen, challenge, and complete them.  Often times, I feel envious that I'm not sitting among them, chatting, fighting, and getting into trouble.  So, I feel quite gleeful as I put together today's Top 5 Wednesday list of the friend groups I most want to be a part of.

Before I begin...if you would like to participate in Top 5 Wednesdays, please check out the Goodreads group and join in.  It's a lot of fun, and quite a few bloggers and BookTubers do it, so you can also peruse their lists.

Now, these are the friend groups I most desire to be part of:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Literary Love: Favorite Females Pt. 2: Adult Literature

Last week I posted some of my favorite female protagonists from children's literature.  It's really important for girls to have literary role models their age to look up to.

This week I'm talking about my favorite adult female protagonists.  Grown women still need role models to afford us strength, resilience, advice, encouragement, and independence.

So, let's get into it.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Literary Love: Favorite Females Pt. 1: Children's Literature

One woe of literature is that there is a serious lack of leading ladies who are defined by more than who they are dating and don't fall into stereotypes.  You always have the pretty girl who isn't very smart or the smart girl who feels bad about her looks, the boy crazy girl or the girl who could care less about boys but isn't very feminine.  But where are the feminine girls who are fine being along?  The smart girls who are confident in who they are?  Where are all the real girls?

It can be difficult to find a female in literature that can be looked up to, but it's important for young girls to find characters that inspire and compel them to grow into intelligent, strong, and loving women whose worth isn't found in the mirror or who they are dating.

These are the ones whom I love and who inspired me when I was a girl in order of when I read them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Take Place in My Region

So, I live on Guam, which is a tiny U.S. territory in Oceania, close to the Philippine Islands.  Though it's a wonderful island, it's not exactly a literary hub.  The only books that I've read that take place in this area are history books.

Therefore, I had to be creative when making this list.  After doing some research, I have compiled a list of the top five books I want to read that take place in Oceania or the Philippines.  These are in no particular order.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Reader Ramble: How Shadow and Bone Should Have Ended

Spoiler Alert: If you have not read Shadow and Bone, do not read this post.  There will be a major spoiler!  You have been warned. Also, I have not finished the trilogy yet, so all thoughts are only about the first book.

Last month I read the first book in Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy, Shadow and Bone.  While the book was definitely captivating, I found the plot lacking.  And it got me thinking about what I would have liked better.

Friday, February 6, 2015

January Book Haul

Back in the beginning of January I posted my reading goals for the year.  One of the things I wanted to do was read my shelves and cut down on my book buying.

Well...January did not move me toward completing that at all.  Yes, I read some books off of my shelves (check out my wrap-up post), but I also ordered quite a few, as well.  This post will concentrate on all of the books I bought in January, but I also did a comic book haul post.

I added thirteen books to my shelves in January.  Not only did I have Christmas gift cards, but Book Outlet had a crazy Boxing Day sale, and my birthday was in January.  Hopefully, I will be able to exercise restraint over the next few months since the holidays have passed.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Futuristic Books

This week's top 5 topic is futuristic books, which was fun for me to think about because I don't read futuristic works too frequently.  I looked through my books and was able to revisit some that I really enjoyed and had forgotten about.

So, let's get into it, shall we?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January Comic Book Haul

I'm really excited about my first comic book haul!

Last year, I started becoming heavily interested in comics of all sorts, especially toward the end of the year.  Now I am making an intentional effort to add them to my personal library.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Wrap-Up

January was an excellent month of reading for me, especially since the ending of 2014 was so pitiful.  This is mostly because Bout of Books motivated me so much, so I'm really really grateful for that readathon.

 Completed Reads

I read eight books and nine single issues of a comic in January.  Two of my books were classics, as well, so I'm really happy with that because one of my goals for the year was to read more classics.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Anti-Heroes

Top 5 Wednesday was created by BookTuber Lainey, at gingerreadslainey.  If you want to join in, please check out the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is favorite anti-heroes, which is an excellent one.  I really like anti-heroes because they are so complex.  In real life, most people have their moments of weak morality.  We can be righteous cowards or brave thieves.  But many characters in literature are written with a lack of moral duality, so I love it when I find a protagonist I'm not sure if I quite cheer for.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reader Ramble: Do we read for the sake of reading?

For the first time that I can recall, the young adult genre is hands down the most popular.  These are the books that are getting the movie deals and all of the buzz.  This isn't true just among the targeted age demographic, but among older readers, as well.

Some of this attention is absolutely deserved.  The Hunger Games trilogy is fantastic.  I love that Eleanor and Park features two atypical protagonists.  Some classics are receiving new attention, as well, such as The Giver, which is a phenomenal novel.

However, for every well-written book with intriguing, well-developed characters, a captivating plot, and relevant themes that will make the reader think, there are another ten that turn character tropes into clichés and wear down the same plot points that made every other book popular.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I Would Like to Meet

Top 5 Wednesday was created by booktuber gingerreadslainey.  If you want to join in on the fun, check out the Goodreads group.

Today's topic is the Top 5 Authors I Would Like to Meet.

I found this a difficult list to make.  While I certainly have my favorite authors, I'm not one to celebratize them.  Also, I've found that some authors whose books I love have less than lovely personalities.  Likewise, there are some writers I think I would enjoy having a good chat with whose books consistently fail to rank above 3 stars.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

These covers are gorgeous!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha Trilogy #1
St. Martin's Press; 5 July 2013
358 Pages
YA Fantasy
3 Stars
Barnes and Noble; Book Depository, Goodreads

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Series I Want to Start

There are many well-loved series out there that I haven't started.  This is mostly because I am very picky with the ones that I start.

Series require much more commitment than stand-alones.  One I've read the first book, I feel obligated to read the rest.  Even if I didn't particularly like the first one, I always have this hope that the next one will be better and make up for it.  I have a very difficult time giving up on a series, especially if it's only a trilogy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bout of Books 12: Wrap-Up

Bout of Books 12 is officially over, and though I am very sad to see it end, I am very happy with my progress throughout the week.  Though my reading tapered off towards the weekend, I was able to more than make up for it in the beginning of the week, when my schedule was less hectic.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bout of Books 12: Challenge - #insixwords

Brevity seems to be what the Twitter age is all about, and Falling Down the Book Hole's challenge is taking it a step further by asking readers to summarize their thoughts about a book in only six words.

Bout of Books 12: Progress - Day 6

My reading is really waning as the week comes to a close.  I didn't read at all on day 5, and only fared slightly better on day 6.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bout of Books 12: Progress - Day 5

So, this is going to be the shortest update post ever because I didn't read at all yesterday.  Yea...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bout of Books 12: Progress - Day 4

I can't believe that Bout of Books 12 is already almost over!  Day 5 already.

Thursday gave me more time than Wednesday for reading, so I was able to finish City of Glass and do a full review on it. However, I did most of my reading late at night, so I was too tired to dig into Dracula, and I'm falling behind on reading it.

Bout of Books 12: Progress - Day 3

I was doing so well the first two days, but things just slowed down on day three.  I had other demands upon my attention, so I wasn't able to finish any books.

Review: City of Glass (The Mortal Instrumets Series #3) by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments Series #3
Simon and Schuster, 24 March 2009
541 Pages
Young Adult Paranormal
3 Stars
Barnes and Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters--never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight. As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City--whatever the cost? Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of bestselling series the Mortal Instruments.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bout of Books 12: Challenge - Character Coupling

Oh, I really like today's challenge, hosted by Writing My Own  Fairytale.  It's the Character Coupling challenge.  Or, as I'd like to think of it, the Make Your Own OTP (or BroTP) challenge.

You have to choose two characters from different books, put them into any type of relationship, and explain why you did it.  The characters have to come from different books and series, but the same author is fine.

 Because I am in the middle of The Mortal Instruments Series, by Cassandra Clare, I wanted to choose a character from it.  Even though Jace is my favorite character, I think that Alec is turning into someone interesting, so...I choose YOU, Alec Lightwood!

When I think of him, I think of how he has always stood in Jace's shadow even though he's the more mature, thoughtful one.  And that immediately makes me think of Ron Weasley from The Harry Potter Series.  Ron is a lot different than Alec in that he's not as mature or solid, but he's still a very loyal best friend who is often looked over.

I would put them in a friendship because I think that they would really be able to connect.  Whenever Ron gets flashes of envy, Alec could settle him down.  They could lament over how brash their friends are or share stories of how stupid Jace and Harry were to think they could do anything without them.  I think that Alec would ground Ron while Ron would loosen him up a little, as well.

What do you think?  Would they get along?  Let me know in the comments below.  Share your character coupling, too!  I'd love to see who you put together.

Happy reading!

Review: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments Series #2) by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes by Cassandra ClareThe Mortal Instruments Series #2
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1 April 2008
453 Pages
Young Adult Paranormal
2.5 Stars
Barnes and Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Bout of Books 12: Progress - Day 2

Can I just say that figuring out the timing of these blog posts is kind of confusing?  Most people are just starting their day 3 while I am ending mine.  Confusing!

Anyway, let's talk about my progress for Tuesday, day 2 of Bout of Books.

On Monday I finished the first book in The Mortal Instruments series (you can check out the review here), so yesterday I went straight into City of Ashes, the second in the series by Cassandra Clare.  Even though I liked it less than the first one, I still managed to finish it, making it the second book finished this week.  Woot woot!

I also continued reading Bram Stoker's Dracula since my goal is to finish it.  It's difficult to just sit and read through for hours at a time, so I'm trying to be disciplined in mixing it in with the easier books I'm reading.

There was only one challenge, which I completed.  It was hosted by Trees of Reverie, and it was the Top 10 Recommendations challenge.  I really enjoyed putting my list together, and I tried to pull from different genres and age ranges.  Be sure to check my list out!

I also found a blog that I like.  It's by Laura over at Laura Plus Books.  She doesn't read the same types of books that I normally read, but her blog is so well put together, and she has a lot of YA reviews.  So, if you like to read YA, you should definitely check out her blog.

Ok, let's break down the numbers:

Pages read: 485 (1003 so far)
Books finished: 1 (2 so far)
Hours spent reading: 6.5 (14 total)
Challenges completed: 1
Blogs/Channels Subscribed to: 1

I am totally good with these numbers, especially since I anticipate them slowing down as I am going to be spending time with my niece and nephew for the next couple of days.

How was your second day?  Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bout of Books 12 Challenge: Top 10 Recommendations

Today's challenge is hosted over at Trees of Reverie, and it's the Top 10 Recommendations challenge.

The idea is that I work at a library or book store, and I have to put together a list of my go-to recommendations for patrons or customers.

For fun I can go into a little more detail about why I chose it, how I would talk it up, or my honorable mentions that didn't quite make the top 10.

So, here are my top 10 go-to recommendations in no particular order.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Most people my age will have read this already, but there is a whole new generation of kids growing up outside of the Harry Potter phenomena that may not know about it.  If parents came into the store looking for something to ignite their child's love for reading, this is definitely what I'd recommend.  Not only is it amazingly written, but the characters will grow up with the child just as they grew up with me.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

If someone came in and wanted to check out some science fiction but didn't know where to start, I'd point them to this favorite of mine.  It's an easy read that doesn't get too technical, but it's also a great story with an interesting protagonist.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Anyone coming in and wanting to explore fantasy for the first time would get this recommended to them.  It's a classic that incorporates a lot of common elements of the fantasy genre, as well as giving an excellent plot and compelling characters.  

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

I am not usually one for weepy chick books, but every now and then I get in a mood where I want a book that will make me cry a lot and a box of chocolate.  Lovers of this type of book would get this recommended to them.  Partly because I haven't read too many books that fit into this category but also because it's just a good story.

The Shining by Stephen King

If you're looking to break into the horror genre, this is the book I would recommend.  Obviously Stephen King is a dominant face for this genre, and this is one of his best.  I think someone would be able to tell if horror is for them after reading this pick.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is kind of obvious, isn't it?  This is just a must-read.  People looking for a classic that isn't difficult to read with characters you can invest in would get this handed to them.  As long as they don't mind the romance.  If the person doesn't like romance...

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This classic is darker and wittier, and I would recommend this to those who like appalling characters and gritty tones.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is a must-read for anyone interested in Japanese literature.  This is my favorite out of all of the ones I've read so far.

Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

A lot of people will have already read this, but if a kid came in who was into comics and superheros or was interested in checking them out, I would give them Watchmen, one of the giants in the genre.  The art, characters, plot, and writing all come together to make it an excellent read and a loved classic.

The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

Many young Christians are veering away from the weighty spiritual classics that generations before them benefited from.  So, if someone came in looking for a Christian book that would challenge them and help them grow, this is what I would name first.  Tozer's classic work goes through all of the attributes of God, breaking them down in a way that is clear but also convicting.  It's one of my favorite Christian reads, and I can't recommend it enough.

So, those are my top 10 recommendations!  Thank you to Trees of Reverie for this fantastic challenge!

What books would you recommend?  Share them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments Series #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
The Mortal Instruments Series #1
Simon and Schuster, 21 April 2007
485 Pages
Young Adult Paranormal
3.5 Stars
Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Bout of Books 12: Progress - Day 1

Day one of Bout of Books was an excellent reading day for me.  I was still awake when midnight hit on Guam, so I immediately started reading and ended up not going to sleep until dawn.  I got in about 5 hours of uninterrupted reading, and the rest of the time I was tweeting with other readers who live on my side of the globe.

After I woke up in the afternoon, I picked up where I left off and was able to finish my first book, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

I didn't do any of the challenges, but that is fine since my goal is only to participate in three of them.  

As far as finding new bloggers, I talked to a lot of people that I really liked chatting with, but I have yet to find a blogger who reads the type of books that would most interest me, so I haven't subscribed to anyone new yet.  The search is on, though!

So, here are my day one stats:
  • Pages read: 518
  • Books finished: 1
  • Hours spent reading: over 7
  • Challenges completed: 0
  • Blogs/Channels subscribe to: 0
I am really happy with the progress I have made so far, and I hope that the rest of this week will continue in similar fashion.

How did your first day go?  Link me to your progress post in the comments below.  

Happy reading!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bout of Books 12: Goals & Tracking Spreadsheet

Bout of Books 12 starts tomorrow, and I am so thankful for it.  I ended 2014 in a bit of a reading rut, so I'm hoping that this read-a-thon will kickstart this year of reading.

As always, I'm setting very loose goals for myself, but I think I'll be able to get quite a bit of reading done during the week because I'll still be on holiday.  I just need to be disciplined.

I don't really do TBR's, so instead I put together a "pull-from pile" - a stack of books I am interested in and can pull from during the week.  The books that made the pile are:

  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (ebook)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
  • Christ Indwelling and Enthroned by J. Oswald Sanders
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker (already started)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (reread)
Reading Goals
  • Read at least 2 hours every day.
  • Read at least 1000 pages.
  • Finish Dracula.
Over the past few months I've been letting other things (ie. the internet) distract me from reading, and then it's 2 am, and I'm too tired.  So, I installed an app on my phone that completely shuts down all data, wi-fi, apps, messaging, and phone calls (save for a few choice contacts); this way, I can stop wasting my time with lesser things.  I'll set it to run for two hours every day this next week so I can be sure I get my reading time in.

Blogging Goals
  • Do a mid-way post and a wrap-up post.
  • Participate in at least 3 challenges.
  • Find at least 3 new bloggers/booktubers that I enjoy, and subscribe to their content.
The main reason I love Bout of Books so much is because of how the reading community comes together.  It's an excellent opportunity to meet new people who are passionate about the same things as I am and start dialoguing with them, so I definitely want to do some discovering as the week goes on.

In order to keep track of my reading progress, I made a spreadsheet, which I started using for Bout of Books 11.  If you are interested in using it to track your own progress, you can download it from my Dropbox.

Those are my goals for this next week.  Are you participating in Bout of Books 12?  If you've made goals, please share them in the comments below or link me to your blog post or video.

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Book Goals

I do not really believe in making resolutions.  I know that they work for other people, but I feel like they set me up for failure and guilt.  And I don't want to start my year that way.  Plus, I am not a great planner, so I find that my mind, mood, or life often changes too dramatically to stick with any decisions I made at the beginning of the year.

I do, however, set goals.  They aren't strict at all but act more like faint guidelines and hopes for the year.  If I accomplish them, wonderful!  If I don't, it's ok.

I operate this same way when it comes to setting book goals for the year.  I don't do TBRs or anything rigid, but I put together a general "wishlist" or sorts - number of books I wish to read, specific titles I wish to finish, certain genres I wish to explore.

After figuring out my reading statistics for 2014, I put together a list of goals I'd like to guide my reading throughout the next year.

Read more books with deeper content.

Last year my original goal was to read 50 books, but I quickly surpassed that and was able to read more than 100 books this year.  However, a lot of those books were junk food reads.  I definitely got a few good meals in, but I did a lot of junk food reading this year.

Don't get me wrong; sometimes light reading is necessary, and the entertainment aspect is completely valid.  However, I want to make sure that I'm reading books that will challenge and grow me, as well.

So, instead of shooting for a high number, I just want to be able to look over the books I've read this time next year and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Finish rereading the Harry Potter series.

It's been a few years since I read it, so I started rereading it toward the end of this year.  I'm almost done with Order of the Phoenix so this should be an easy goal to meet.

Explore new genres.

I tend to stick to adult contemporary, but I read a few sci-fi this year that I really enjoyed, so I want to find more.  Plus, I really want to get in some more fantasy.

One genre I want to read less of is YA.  Or, more specifically, I want to be pickier about which YA I read.  They are really easy to fly through and add to my book count, but I find that few of them offer me any type of challenge or real stimulation.  There are definitely good ones out there, but I need to make sure I'm reading them instead.

Continue reading comics/graphic novels/manga/manhwa.

I read a lot of image driven content this year, and I really loved the experience.  I want to continue exploring this new world and finding out which titles/authors I love, as well as what styles I'm the most drawn to.

I've found that these are also really good for when I'm in reading slumps, but that doesn't always mean that the story is subpar or shallow.  The stories can be beautiful and deep, and I'm still able to focus on them during those times when reading a novel just isn't happening.

Read more classics.

I am part of a classics book club, so this shouldn't be difficult, but they don't always pick titles I'm interested in, so I often find myself sitting out for a whole month.

For the upcoming year, I want to participate more in that book club.  And when I don't, I want to choose my own classic to read.  There are always more classics waiting for me.

Read more Asian literature.

In past years, I've read a lot of Asian literature, but 2014 was really lacking, and I am not accepting of that.  All of the Asian lit I read this past year was in comic form, so I absolutely must start reading novels again.

This is the one goal that I want to be very intentional with, and I may even make a list of books to pull from throughout the year in order to accomplish it.

Read my shelves.

I, like many book addicts, have a slight problem with buying books faster than I read them.  Therefore, I have quite a few unread books on my shelves.  I want to dwindle this number down this year.

I say this as I have three book orders on their way, but it's not 2015 yet, so it's ok.

The 2015 Reading Challenge

This is a little thing that has been going around Tumblr, and I just want to keep it in the back of my mind as a fun thing to do to shake things up, especially when I'm not sure what I want to read next.

And those are all my reading goals for 2015. 

What are your goals for the coming year?  Do you make a TBR list for the whole year, set a number of books you'd like to finish, or just wing it?  Are you very strict?  Let me know in the comments down below.

Happy New Year, and happy reading!