January TBR

What’s this? What’s this? There’s books waiting to be read~ What’s this? It’s this month’s TBR!

Okay, corny song aside, I haven’t done one of these in… years. Since 2015, to be exact (at least for monthly TBRs. I’ve since made challenge TBRs). I stopped because I often found myself not actually reading the books in said TBR because I’m such a mood reader, but this year I want to try to set a goal and actually achieve it.

So, the other day I posted my list for the POPSUGAR 2020 Reading Challenge, and I’m definitely going to stick to that list for most of my reading. There are some books I want to read that aren’t on my list, but are on my shelves, so yeah.

Since there’s roughly four weeks per month, I want to aim to read one book per week, so these TBRs will have (at least) four books listed for me to read. This isn’t including all of the webcomics and other stories I keep up with online, mind you, but just novels/manga/comics that I hope to read.

I’m going to attempt to read three books from the main list for the challenge, and then one book from the advanced list each month.

I’ve also included a bonus book in each month because there are books that I’ve been reading for way too long and just need to finish, or I started last year and still need to finish.

Okay, enough rambling, here’s my TBR for January!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Bonus book!

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

Remembrance by Rita Woods – Challenge prompt: A book that’s published in 2020

Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there.

Ohio, present day. An elderly woman who is more than she seems warns against rising racism as a young woman grapples with her life.

Haiti, 1791, on the brink of revolution. When the slave Abigail is forced from her children to take her mistress to safety, she discovers New Orleans has its own powers.

1857 New Orleansa city of unrest: Following tragedy, house girl Margot is sold just before her 18th birthday and her promised freedom. Desperate, she escapes and chases a whisper…. Remembrance.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar – Challenge prompt: A book written by a trans or non-binary author

The story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker.

It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.

More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – Challenge prompt: A book with a great first line

The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Advanced challenge prompt: A book written by an author in their 20s.

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


That’s all I have for this month! I’m excited to see what this month of reading brings and to see how these challenges push me to read books I never would have thought to pick up otherwise (probably).

Let’s chat!

What are your reading goals for this month? Any book in particular you’re excited to read? Anything on my list catch your eye? Let me know!

January 2017 Wrap Up

Oh hi guys!

Well, this year is already chugging along, isn’t it? I’m sorry I haven’t been around much at all this month, but I needed some me time, and I have to say: it was very much needed, but I’m happy to be back. I hope you all had a safe and happy new year, and I hope that the first month of this new year was a good one for you!


Books I’ve Read

Click on the cover to be taken to its respective review!

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  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming! 4.5/5 stars

Books I’ve Gotten

Click on the cover to be taken to each respective Goodreads page!

windwitch roseblood frostblood alchemistsofloom

Other Blog Posts

Writing Related

Fun Things

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So the first month for 2017 Flights of Fantasy reading challenge  kind of didn’t really exist for me. I haven’t really read anything this month, and what I have read has been contemporaries, so… yeah. Off to a great start! #sarcasm 0/30 fantasy books read so far

btbhpcupsicons_hufflepuff

Beat the Backlist, if you don’t already know, if a challenge that I’m participating in this year to read books that have been published prior to 2017. So far, I’ve been in the process of reading a couple, and I know I’m going to have a lot on this list, but for now, I have xx completed.

Instagram

So over on my Instagram I… really didn’t do much. Again: me time had pretty much nothing to do with bookish anything this month. It’s weird, honestly. I only have the five pictures that are remotely bookish this month and that’s it. Yup.

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 Around the Internet

This is a feature I’ve seen in several other blogger’s wrap ups and I think it’s a fun way to show what else I’ve been reading/seeing around the internets!

Life Updates

  • I enjoyed taking a hiatus from reading and the book community and stuff; I kind of needed it. But I’m also glad to be back and doing something that I enjoy.
  • My husband and I booked a trip to Disney World for the last week of August and I’m SO EXCITED! We haven’t been since our honeymoon in 2014, so it’s much overdo. I even have a countdown going and everything.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How has your new year been treating you so far? Anything fun and exciting happen? What was your favorite read of the month? Tell me all the things!

January 2016 Wrap-Up

Guys, it’s already the end of the month. How is time flying so fast? Staahhhhp.

Alright, so I think that the month of January was pretty fruitful, if I do say so myself. Starting off the year strong, woo!

So here’s how my month is going so far and some updates as well:

Books I Read

  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Steifvater. The second book in The Raven Cycle, this book was so good and really drew me further into the world. I highly enjoyed getting to know the characters better, and the ones that didn’t really rub off on me well before I actually turned out to really like and understand. I’m really excited for the next installment and to see what happens next with this group. I gave this 5/5 stars and highly recommend it. Check out my review!
  • Saga volumes 1-5 by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples. This comic/graphic novel series is fantastic. Not only is the art style beautiful and realistic, the story itself is intriguing and engaging. I really love this series so far and I think that it would be a good read for sci-fi and fantasy lovers because it mixes the two genres really well. I gave each 4.5-5/5 stars respectively. Check out my review!
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. This book wasn’t as good as I was hoping. The characters seemed distant and cold, and a lot of plot I found to be boring. The parts I enjoyed were the romance parts because those were the times the characters felt like they were coming alive. I’m going to continue on with the next book, so I’m hoping it’ll be better. I gave this 3/5 stars. Check out my review!
  • Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. This book, guys. This book touched all of my feels and it just made me so happy to read. This book doesn’t glorify mental illness, but instead shows how it can encompass a person’s entire mind and how it can affect them in daily life. I loved how it was handled and just the romance and everything about it. I gave this 5/5 stars and highly recommend it. Check out my review!

Resolutions Galore

  • Bookish Resolutions for 2016 – All of my bookish and blog related goals are set out here and I’m excited to think that they’re all actually achievable. I’m hoping that 2016 will be a good one and that I can come back next year and say that I actually completed everything on my list.
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Resolutions for 2016 – This was a different set of resolutions that went into further detail regarding my bookish goals, but I also went into a bit of personal ones that I really want to achieve this year. I think that they’re important and that I need to actually stick to them.
  • Writing Goals for 2016 – I have three major goals that I want to complete for the year and I really hope that I see to it that they each get done, or that I at least have progress on them.

Challenges and Other Fun Things

  • Flights of Fantasy 2016 – A fun year long challenge to read as many fantasy books as your heart desires. My goal is set to 15 books this year and I think that I’ll definitely accomplish it.
  • Let’s Talk | Shadowhunters 1×01 – Pilot – I talked about the first episode of Shadowhunters based off of Cassandra Clare‘s series and it was so full of cheese that I didn’t know what to do with myself. You can check out my full review details through the link, but yeah. It was okay, and I’m holding on for the rest of the series.
  • Rayna Recommends: Manga Favorites – Yes! I got back into my recommendation posts and I’m starting off the year recommending some of my favorite manga series. Check them out if you get a chance!
  • Favorite Books of 2015 – I talk about my top thirteen favorite books that I read last year and why they were my favorites.
  • Rereads for 2016 – I haven’t read all of these books in years and so I really want to read them again and see if I still love them as much as I did back then.
  • Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Buzzwords – Some words in or about books can just set you off and you NEED them, right then and there. These are some of my words.
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Best Friends – You know those characters who are best friends with the main character and you just can’t help but love them? Yeah, these are some of my favorites.
  • Top 5 Wednesday: Disappointing Eye Candy – These are the books that you loved the covers on but weren’t exactly thrilled with the content inside of them. Yeah. These are some of my disappointments.
  • The Disney Princess Tag – This tag was made for me. Seriously.

Updates

So I wanted to include this little update section in each of my wrap-ups this year as I go about doing the Flights of Fantasy challenge as well as anything regarding writing and anything else I may find important. So here’s how I’m doing so far:

Flights of Fantasy: I’ve read seven books this month that involve some form of fantasy and I’ve enjoyed the majority of them, so yay for that!

Writing: I’ve actually picked up my poetry since reading Every Last Word. It’s not a lot, but I really enjoy it and forgot how much I did enjoy it. Check me out on Hello Poetry to see some of my poems. Otherwise, I haven’t really worked on anything else just yet, but I plan to soon.

Bible reading plan: So I kind of failed at the Booktube Bible-a-thon, but I’ve picked back up reading the Bible every day following a chronological plan on an app I have. I haven’t missed a day yet, so hopefully I keep up with it!

And that’s it for this month! What a great way to start off the year. I’m excited to see what February brings me.

January & February 2015 Collective Book Haul

I seemed to have acquired more books than intended over the last two months, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re a book lover, right? Well, here’s my haul from both January and February!

  • Rebel Spring” by Morgan Rhodes. This is the sequel to “Falling Kingdoms” and I figured I’d just get it so I have it to read when I’m ready.
  • The Selection” and “The Elite” by Kiera Cass. I don’t think I ever hauled the first book, so here are the first and second books of this series. It’s about a girl named America who is chosen to take part in the Selection where 32 girls try to win the heart of the prince, Maxon, but only one can win. It’s a YA romance type of novel series. I’ve already read and reviewed the first, so I’ll be moving onto the second soon.
  • Scarlet” and “Cress” by Marissa Meyer are the second and third books in the Lunar Chronicles series. They follow different characters than the first (Cinder), but they are still fairy tale retellings (one of Little Red Riding Hood and of Rapunzel). I’m very interested to see how the stories unfold in the next books.
  • Unravel Me” and “Ignite Me” by Tahereh Mafi. These are books two and three in the Shatter Me trilogy. I read and reviewed the first book last month, and so I want to continue on with the series because I felt that I wasn’t satisfied enough in the first book and I hear it gets better as it goes.
  • Alienated” by Melissa Landers. This is an alien book (if you couldn’t guess) that follows a human girl, Cara, and how her family was picked to share their house with an “exchange student” – an alien boy named Aelyx. Things start getting dangerous, though, when threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker and police escorts have to be used for her and Aelyx. I started reading this book to get a general idea of what it’s about and I love the voice of Cara: very snarky and funny. Can’t wait to read this.
  • Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson. This is the first in a new series(?) by Sanderson that tells the story about a boy, David, who’s father was killed and how everything was essentially taken away from him. He has to defeat Steelheart and needs help from the Reckoners, a group of rebels trying to keep justice. And the Reckoners might just need David’s help, too. It sounds thrilling and action packed, so I’m excited to read this (and hopefully my husband will read it, too).
  • Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I got my hands on it. There has been so much hype surrounding this book, I hope I enjoy it. It’s about a girl named Mare who lives in a world where you are divided by blood – literally. If you have silver blood you’re an elite, essentially, and if you have red blood you’re a common peasant like everyone else. And silvers have powers. And Mare, a red blood, isn’t supposed to have powers… DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Anyway, I’m excited to read this. I think it’ll be the first book I read in March.

I also have one more to haul, even though I’ve ordered it, it just hasn’t come in yet because of international standard shipping stuff. Anyway, that is:

  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson – UK edition – which consist of “The Final Empire,” “The Well of Ascension,” and “The Hero of Ages.” (It’s actually a seven part series, but it’s originally a trilogy?) I love the covers of these books so much more than the American covers, and so I had to get it. It’s an adult fantasy trilogy that follows a “troublemaker and his young apprentice,” and they’re trying to save their world through the use of Allomancy, a magic of metals. It sounds intriguing and there’s a big hype surrounding it right now, so I’m excited to read it.

I’m pretty sure that’s all of the books I’ve gotten in the last two months… 13 books, woo! I could be missing something, I’m not sure. I’m just excited to read them all eventually.

Accompanying video: January & February Collective Book Haul

Have you read any of these books? What do you recommend I read sooner rather than later? What did you think of what you read? Are you going to read any of these soon? Let me know!

January 2015 Wrap-Up & February TBR

I know this is a few days late, but better late than never, right? So, here I’m going to talk about the books I read in January and what I didn’t finish from my January TBR that I talked about a while ago.

So the books I read are:

  • This Shattered World” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This was one of my favorite reads last month and a great way to start the year. A sci-fi adventure with romance and mystery? Great read. You can read my review here, but I did rate it 5/5 stars.
  • Shatter Me” by Tahereh Mafi. I thought this was very fast paced but there were a lot of things I didn’t know what to think about in this. I rated it 3.75/5 stars. You can read my review here.
  • City of Ashes” by Cassandra Clare. As this is the second book to The Mortal Instruments series I didn’t give a review, but I will be doing a trilogy review when I finish the third book. I rated this 4/5 stars.
  • Cinder” by Marissa Meyer. This is the first book in a fairy tale retelling quartet of books. I thought this sci-fi adventure was cool, but I had some trouble connecting with the characters. I rated this 3.75/5 stars. You can read my reivew here.

These are the books I had left on my TBR but didn’t finish and the reasons why:

  • Falling Kingdoms” by Morgan Rhodes. I really like the story and the plot and everything, I do, but I was just having a really hard time trying to read this book and only got about 40% of the way through over two weeks of reading it. I’m not sure if it was a slump or what it was, but I think I’m going to put it down for now and try to pick it up in March.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling. I knew I wasn’t going to get to this book after the slump I had with “Falling Kingdoms” so I’m going to try my best to read it this month and see if I can finish it. It’s a chunky book, so we’ll see how it goes.

I really wanted to read all of those books this past month, but it just didn’t happen. So let me talk about the other things book related I did in January.

  • End of 2014 Book Survey – this was created by Perpetual Page Turner and she offered others to do the survey as well, so I participated in it!
  • #ProjectTBR and TBR Jar Challenge – well, I’m already failing the jar challenge as I didn’t read HP last month, so I’ll try to make up for it this month and also pick a new challenge. Project TBR is going okay; I’ve read four books this year so far and can’t wait to read more.
  • Most Anticipated 2015 Reads – I talk about my top five most anticipated reads. Very exciting!
  • Genre: Fantasy – I talk about the difference between high and low fantasy while also giving some examples of each. Of course, there are many more types of fantasy than those two, but it’s what I give.

Okay, now for the February TBR!

  • “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling. Going to try really hard to read this one this month so I can also cross off the TBR jar challenge for January as being completed.
  • Snow Like Ashes” by Sara Raasch. I’m really anticipating reading this so I plan on picking it up this month. It’s about how the four seasons are at war with one another and how Winter is wiped out – or basically wiped out. It’s a fantasy YA book.
  • City of Glass” by Cassandra Clare. This is the third installment to The Mortal Instruments series and I can’t wait to read it. I’ll put up a review of the first three books after reading this one.
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor. This is the first book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bones trilogy. It’s about a girl, Karou, who isn’t sure who she is or where she comes from, but strange things are happening around her and she doesn’t know how to explain it. I’m excited to read this first installment.
  • The Selection” by Kiera Cass. This is the first book in the Selection trilogy (which is now becoming a six book series) and it’s about a girl named America who is thrown into the world of dresses and becoming the potential bride to the prince. It sounds intriguing and am excited to read it.
  • Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte. I’m not 100% sure what this one is about except for it is Ms. Bronte’s only novel and it’s also one of literature’s darkest romantic passions… Sounds intriguing, right? (At least from the description on the back.)

For the TBR Jar Challenge I chose, at random, to read a book with 500+ pages. I have a couple on my TBR for this month that meet that requirement, so I’m going to use “City of Glass” as that requirement. Hopefully I actually read all of these books this month, but we’ll see. Hopefully Netflix won’t distract me too much, because it’s also taken away from my writing time, as well.

Accompanying video: January 2015 Wrap-Up & February TBR

What are you planning on reading this month? Let me know in the comments!