2018 End of Year Survey

It’s that time of year again, folks, where I review what I’ve read this past year and talk about it with you. This survey was created by the lovely Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner, so you should definitely go check her out.

**2018 READING STATS**

 

Number Of Books You Read:
Number of Re-Reads:
Genre You Read The Most From: Fan fiction

 

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

gemina

This whole trilogy was AMAZING, but of the last two books in the trilogy that I read this year, Gemina was definitely my favorite. You can check out my review here!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Maybe the Vox Machina Origin comic books? I haven’t watched a lot of the first campaign which I know the books are based off of those characters, but I was expecting something… different? They’re still good, just not as good as I was expecting.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

ruinandrising

Probably Ruin and Rising – and in a good way. It’s been a couple of years since I read book two, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it and thought it made for a great wrap up kind of book.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Not a book, but a fan fiction by Tharros called “Two Black Dots.” It’s an awesome fanfic about Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako, and I highly recommend you check it out.

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Best series: (Fan fiction): Two Black Dots by Tharros

Best sequel: Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Best series ender: Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Rick Riordan! I’ve never read any of his material before, but I started with Percy Jackson & the Lighting Thief several months ago and really enjoyed it. You can check out my review here!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Well, I didn’t start reading fan fiction until this year, SO I’m going to go with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by Ms_Chunks. It’s another Bakugou/Uraraka fan fic and it’s SO GOOD.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Have I mentioned Gemina and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff yet? Because those two were AMAZING and I could not put them down.

Check out my Gemina review here and my Obsidio review here!

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I will say probably Bakugou Katsuki is Going to Become a Friendly Guy Even if it Kills Him by piscesroyalty. It’s a comedy/romance fan fiction and I have never laugh out loud so much then when I was reading this.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

obsidio

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Ella Malikova from Gemina. SHE’S AMAZING. Super sassy, doesn’t put up with your crap, and is just a great side character. Seriously loved her.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

falling by isanas is so beautiful. It pulls on your heart and it’s just… oof, so good.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

I really have no idea with this one. I know I’ve had a lot of thoughts on several of the books I read, reflecting on some of the elements of them and how they could be interpreted in real life and such, and I know that on more than one occasion I found myself going, “Wow, that’s amazing,” but I can’t really pinpoint what books those might be.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 

thelightningthief

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. SERIOUSLY. I would’ve enjoy this so much as a kid hahaha

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

-Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Gemina: 659 pages

I’ve read a lot of one-shot fan fics, so I’m going to say those lol Some were under 1000 words.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Have I mentioned the Illuminae Files yet? Because OH MAN DID I HAVE A LOT OF ANIMATED REACTIONS TO THESE BOOKS. Like, I’m not the most animated person when reading. I don’t make a lot of faces or even really laugh aloud at something funny, but these books? Oh man, these books seriously took me on a roller coaster and I know for a fact that Gemina had me gaping at the end of it for a while.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

KACCHAKO. My loves. ❤ (Bakugou Katsuki x Uraraka Ochako)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Nik Malikov and Ella Malikova from the Illuminae Files. They’re cousins, so I just love their dynamic and how they pick on each other, but also would die for the other. It’s great.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

leahontheoffbeat

Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. This was a fun read that I read back in May and I just remember loving Becky’s first book: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I was not disappointed. Check out my review here!

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Just a looooooot of fan fiction, haha! I got to support my friends’ writings, you know?

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Both Hanna Donnelly and Nik Malikov from Gemina. *shrug* What can I say? I love me a strong, fierce, sassy, brave woman, and a goofy, gold-hearted, family-oriented bad boy.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

I don’t think I’ve read any debuts this year, so N/A.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I need to stop mentioning the Illuminae Files in this post, but THESE BOOKS ARE LITERAL VISUALS, and the way things are described is just so well done? Like??? Ugh, so good.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Bakugou Katsuki is Going to Become a Friendly Guy Even If It Kills Him by piscesroyalty on AO3. It’s SO funny and SO good, omg, seriously, read it.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

In Hindsight by infantblue. This fanfic CRUSHED me. A bunch of us did live reactions with the author and she was just so overwhelmed by the support she got for this. I literally felt the tears in my eyes, but I didn’t actually cry lol

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Shout out to every fan fic I read because, man, were they a surprise! Seriously, I’ve read so many and I loved a lot.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

obsidio

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Ooh, I think Eidolon by Grace Draven was the most unique just because of the species in it and such. I mean, I read Radiance last year, but I really thought the concept of a human and a Kai together and how the two would go through life together was super intriguing. The way it was executed was well done.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Uh. I have no idea haha

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

readwithcindy – she’s got such a great personality and such a great level of sass, and I’m glad I found her.

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

Fan Fiction Galore & Why You Should Read Some

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?

IMG_0970

Here’s my instagram if you want to check it out!

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

I took part in the Biannual Bibliothon this past winter/spring in early 2018, as in, I was one of the blog hosts lol

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

I don’t know, just getting back to it, really. I’ve barely posted at all this year, but it really feels good to be back on my little corner of the internet.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Uh, I didn’t blog lol Barely, anyway. Finding the time and motivation was difficult, but I’m making it more of a priority nowadays and really glad I am.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Biannual Bibliothon Challenge: Rewrite a Favorite Scene

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

None. I’m okay with where everything is.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The Bookmarked series on YouTube where Zoe, Hailey, and Hannah have guests and talk about bookish topics.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Well, the past couple of years I’ve been setting my Goodreads reading goal to one book, which has been working out great for me, haha! So that was achieved. That’s pretty much it haha

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

If I haven’t started this book this week, it’s definitely going to be Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. Like, my husband caught up real fast this year with all three books and has been waiting months for me to read this third book because he wanted to discuss and I just haven’t yet. Whoops lol

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. But first I need to read Restore Me, which is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. I’ve been following Hafsah on Twitter for years now, and I’m so proud of her debut coming up! I’m definitely going to read it when it’s released.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

Is the final book of the Ember in the Ashes saga going to be published in 2019? If so, that one lol

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I’m going to be having a 2019 goals post coming out next week, so read about them there!

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Not applicable haha!

Let’s chat!

Alright my friends, my question to you for the end of this year is: if you could squeeze in just one more read for the end of the year, what would it be and why? Have a wonderful and safe new year!

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s the holiday season once again, and I’m coming at you with another gift guide!

Okay, so I haven’t actually done one of these since 2015, but… still!

Here’s the 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for bookish and writerly people!

For this guide, I wanted to focus on some of the more practical and everyday things that people can find useful in their lives, so I’ve listed five bookish related and five writerly related items below that I think you (or your favorite bookworm/writer in your life) will enjoy. I’ll include links to the various products for easy browsing!

For the Bookish

  1. Book themed planner/calendar – I actually discovered this planner while I was in Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. It included spaces at the beginning of each month for books to read and books that you’ve read in that month, and each month talk about famous author birthdays, famous book publishing days, and more. But you can also find a ton of literary themed planners and calendars on etsy!
  2. Candles – Okay, I know some people don’t like them, but a lot of readers find that having a candle lit is not only aesthetic, but also very calming while reading. You can find literary candles all over, but check out Novelly Yours on etsy. They’ve got a lot of great candles in amazing scents.
  3. Totes, art, bedding, & more – Have you heard of Society6 or RedBubble? Well, people can create designs and sell them via this platform, and so there is no shortage of book themed items there. If you’re looking for a tote to carry your books in, or you need new bedding because yours are old and falling apart, check out Evie Seo’s shop for some cool designs! She’s one of my favorite designers, and the products from the companies are really good.
  4. Bookmarks – Let’s be clear: bookworms will never say no to bookmarks. They’re practical, even if they get lost easily, and there’s so many cool designs to choose from. Plus, they’re cheap enough, so why not get your favorite bookworm a few bookmarks? You could even take it a step further and get them a personalized one!
  5. Bamboo book holder – This is for my e-book readers, but say you’re trying to cook or workout or whatever, and you just can’t hold the book? Well, why not check out a bamboo book holder? Being made of bamboo, they’re sturdy and will be able to hold your e-reader perfectly.

For the Writerly

  1. Stationary – You can find TONS of different kinds of stationary online. They come in all sizes and colors, so here’s an example of some of the kinds you can get.
  2. Tombow pens – Okay, if your writer friend is into bullet journaling at all, then these Tombow pens are the way to go. They come in a multitude of colors and are pretty affordable.
  3. Lumbar pillow – Let me tell you, if you have a writer friend then their back is probably in pain. Hours of sitting wherever they’ve plopped to write can really take a toll on the back, so why not gift them a lumbar pillow? They’re these pillow that can hook onto the backs of chairs and provide that extra needed support for the lower back.
  4. Journal – Old school here, but I love getting journals. Even if I don’t use them, just knowing that I have them brings a peace of mind that I can’t explain. Writers appreciate them a lot because it gives us space to write our ideas when nothing else is around us and they can be much like our diaries, but for our stories. There are pocket-sized and regular sized journals to choose from, so pick one you think would best suit them!
  5. A mug – Listen, writers can stay up for hours on end just chugging away at their story, so they’re going to need caffeine (or whatever beverage of choice they want) to keep them going, so why not get them a mug? You can find cool writerly ones like this mug here that says, “I am a writer: anything you say or do may be used in a story.”

Okay, so some of these things are pretty obvious or ones that have been talked about more times in many blogs that I can count, but still: shopping for a bookworm or a writer can be easy if you know what to look for. Just think about what they like or what they need and apply that to your gift giving ideas this year.

Have a happy holiday season!

Let’s chat!

What kinds of gifts do you hope for as a bookworm or writer? Let me know!

Unhauling Books & Being Okay With It

Hi peeps, so today I wanted to talk about something I recently did, which was unhaul books (duh, obviously judging by the title), but I also want to talk about being okay with unhauling books. I know a lot of us can get attached to the aesthetics or the potential for a story or whatever reason we might have of keeping those books, but let’s be real: are you actually going to take the time to read it in the future? Or are you just being stubborn?

So, I’ve unhauled a lot of books in the last two years. Last summer I brought five reusable shopping bags full to the brim with books that I knew I wasn’t going to read and brought them to my local library (to the surprise of the librarians at seeing just how many I had brought lol). And I’ve just recently unhauled another 44 books from my shelves that I’m going to donate again. Forty-four. Crazy!

This included signed books I’d gotten from book boxes, and ones that I knew I wasn’t going to get around to reading anytime soon in the near future – or ones that I just lost interest in completely.

It also included books on my shelves that I’ve had for YEARS. Like. College days. (I graduated from college four years ago now, so it was even sooner than that.) It included both young adult and adult books, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, and fiction.

And you know what?

It felt good.

I have been staring at my shelves for a while now just overwhelmed with not only the amount of unread books I had (at the time, including audio and e-books, it was around 260+, but this also includes long manga series), but with just how cluttered my shelves were getting. I asked my husband for another tall bookshelf for Christmas so I can better display my books and use up less space (I’m using three small bookcases and one large one).

And to be honest, when I looked at some of these books, I didn’t even remember having some of them. I tried reading premises and seeing if I was at all interested, but I found myself not interested anymore.

And you know what? That’s okay.

I know a lot of us like to “hoard” books for many reasons. Some of you lovely people out there are extremely fast readers and can keep up with the amount of books that you get, while some of you are slower but still love to collect.

And there’s nothing wrong with this! I want to make it perfectly clear that I am NOT bashing anyone for having an excess amount of books or for not unhauling some or anything. If it makes you happy and comfortable, you keep doing it!

What I am saying is: if you’ve been thinking about unhauling but you’re wary for one reason or another, just do it! *insert Shia Labeuof meme here*

It honestly feels amazing.

Not only do I have more shelf space (CRAZY), but I have more peace of mind of not feeling so pressured to read all of these books I set myself to read once upon a time.

I kept books that I’ve read and loved, that I know I’ll read, or ones that have sincere sentimental value to me (one book I’ve kept since middle school and read in 9th grade and still love even though I haven’t read it since then).

Sometimes doing these kinds of things can really be helpful mentally. If you’ve been feeling like you’re overwhelmed by your shelves, take a good look at them and really ask yourself if all of those books you have are really going to be read or if you’re just keeping them for later (even when you know you probably won’t read them). Maybe it’ll help you.

Let’s chat!

Have you unhauled any books recently? How did you feel about it? Does the thought of getting rid of any of your books hurt you to your core? Let me know!

Beat the Backlist 2019 Challenge

BTBBanner_TransparentBG

Hello all! So I’ve participated (and I say this lightly) with Beat the Backlist for the last two years, so I’m going to do it again with 2019!

Beat the Backlist is a challenge hosted by NovelKnight where the goal is to read as many backlisted books of your TBR as you can throughout the year. So for the 2019 challenge, it’s to read any book published prior to 2019, and one that you started to read in 2019 (you can’t have started in 2018 or prior; the goal is to start and finish the year the challenge is being held). You can find more information on her blog which I’ve linked at the beginning of this paragraph or the image above.

Here’s my list of backlist books I hope to get to. I’m going to be very hopeful here when listing these because I don’t know that I’ll actually get to them. Mind you, this isn’t all of the books that are backlist titles that I want to get to, but just some of the ones I hope to read in 2019.

beatthebacklistbooks.png

The Burning Sky / Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki / Winter / The Well of Ascension / The Fifth Season / Strange the Dreamer / Ruin and Rising / Six of Crows / Crooked Kingdom / The Graceling

As you can see, it’s pretty much fantasy and sci-fi across the board (I mean, SFF are my fave genres, so…), which I’m perfectly fine with because I love diving into worlds that aren’t our own and reading about a lot of magical and fantastical things.

I’m also trying to keep this TBR manageable for this challenge because the last two years of reading for me were really tough and not all there, so I want to ease into it with titles I know I’m going to like.

I’ll also be participating in the Hogwarts House Mini Challenge as Hufflepuff!

BTBIcon_Hufflepuff

I’m excited for 2019 and hope it brings the spark and love of reading back into my life, and I hope this challenge also helps to do that!

Let’s chat!

Are you participating in BTB? What books are you going to read that are backlisted? Let me know in the comments!

Uncertainty, the Future, & More

Well, hi guys. How’s it going? I’m sorry I haven’t posted in months since the Biannual Bibliothon, but I just wanted to stop by because I think I owe it to my readers to let you guys know what’s going on in my life.

I had decided to stop blogging altogether.

Yup. I had barely any time to blog at all last year and I just wasn’t really in the mood to continue on. I wasn’t keeping up with my pace, the majority of what I read was comics online which are hard to track for reading and reviewing purposes, and I was just dealing with a lot of mental and emotional stress, which I still am.

Let me break it down for you:

  • My mom has early onset dementia. She was diagnosed almost two years ago with it and my husband and I have been living with my parents since. We are… not happy here. Our mental, physical, and emotional well-beings have had such a strain put on them that we find it very hard to enjoy anything that we used to anymore. For me, one of those things is reading physical books. I had no problem reading comics because they’re images and short dialogues, so it was easy to handle for my brain. But actual books? Unless I was hooked it was near impossible.
    • In case you are wondering: some days are better than others for my mom. My dad is handling it in his own way. I am handling it my own way. My husband is, too. Just one day at a time because that’s literally all we can do.
    • The next point will explain this one more as to why we haven’t done this but, my husband and I need to move out. We need a space of our own to be able to make a living for ourselves. It’s very hard to do that here, and now we live almost an hour away from where we work where before we were 10-15 min away. It makes a huge difference.
    • The result of this has made me very tired and unable to bring myself to do anything these days.
  • I’ve been taking an online course to become TEFL certified. This means I’m becoming certified to teach English as a second language. My goal is to teach in South Korea by the end of this year, 2018. I’ve got my six hours of teaching time left of my practicum before I can turn in my paperwork and become officially certified.
    • Now, with this, there’s a whole new level of stress. I would love to teach in the EPIK program in South Korea, which is public school teaching. There’s a ton of great benefits for teachers and all of that, which is great. But, there’s a snag: I can get an E-2 visa for teaching, but my husband, who I would bring with me, would have to get a spousal visa and under said visa he would legally be not allowed to work. That’s fine, whatever. Contracts are usually for a year anyway unless I like it there and want to stay longer and maybe he can get a different visa, I don’t know.
    • Anyway, this is its own headache. The fact that I’d have a dependent lessens my chances of being hired. It doesn’t mean I won’t be – there’s still a potential that I will be – but it still makes it harder, and then I don’t know that I’d qualify for all of the benefits. So. Yeah.
    • I am trying my best to be optimistic, but the closer I get to completing my certificate and actually applying to the recruiter, the more nervous and worried I get.
  • I tried to focus on art last year, which was great! I was creating a lot, but it kind of… faded away the last few months. I’m finding that I get frustrated in the sketch stage, even when I know it’ll be better later on. Oh well. I’ll work on that.
  • I still would love to be a published author and share my stories with the world, but… *sigh* the book and publishing world have been on FIRE lately and now everything is just very intimidating. If I don’t include enough of this I’m a bad person, if I include too much of that I’m a bad author, like… it’s so intimidating nowadays. I think it’s great, 10000000% amazing, that people are fighting to be seen and heard in their stories. But if I am comfortable writing my characters the way they appear in my head, and that offends someone, then I end up the bad guy? I don’t know, guys, it’s just so scary now. I know I shouldn’t look at it that way, but that’s just how my mind perceives it.

So yeah, those have been some of the big stressors in my life and it’s just been one shit year, let me tell you… Of course there were good times and good things that happened and stuff, but I need to share these things with you.

This brings me to my next point:

I do miss blogging.

Part of me does miss blogging and reading like crazy and diving into these worlds and having these open discussions with people and seeing book hauls and tags and discussions and just the joy that reading once brought, including blogging.

But after last year I had decided that I wasn’t going to do this anymore. I was just going to stop posting and let the views and conversations fade away, because what else could I do? Like I said before: I don’t have the time or energy to be as active as I once was, and I miss doing it.

I miss talking to you guys and sharing thoughts on books and doing reviews, tags, side posts, etc. It was all fun and it was such a big part of my life for the last few years.

I don’t know that I’m going to keep blogging, though.

Like I said: I do and I don’t. I want to share my reviews on books and have discussions and do all of these things again, but with so much uncertainty for my future (and my husband’s), I just don’t know if I can.

I know I can just post whenever I can, even if it’s months from now, but I don’t want you guys to think I’ve fallen off of the grid. When that time comes, I will do a proper goodbye, but for now?

For now, I think I want to keep going.

I haven’t come to a definite conclusion yet, but I do still want to share with you all. I want to read actual novels, not just comics, and dive back into the worlds I loved before. I still have books I need to finish that came out last year that I was anticipating, and books I started the year before that that I need to finish. It’s crazy, really.

So for now… I’m going to stay.

For now, I’ll keep going. Maybe this will spark what I needed back into my life. Maybe this will really help me to see what it is that I was missing. I don’t know, but I hope this helps.

I want to keep a kind of schedule? Maybe that will help me, I’m not sure. So, here’s what I’m thinking:

  • I’ll post once a week on Thursday to start. I have Wednesdays off and it’ll give me a good amount of time to get in some reading and other things to be able to prepare a post for Thursday morning (like what I’m doing now).
  • If I am able to get a flow back into my groove, then I will start to also post on Mondays so it’ll be twice a week. I think that will definitely be doable. If I want to post more in a week, I will. It’s my blog after all, so I can do what I want lol

I’m going to try that for now and see how it works for me.

Thank you all for being so supportive over the years, for reading my content, talking to me, and just being a great community. You’re all amazing and I wish you the best in all that you do.