December 2016 Wrap Up

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

It’s the end of the year! Can you believe it? This year has been a whirlwind for many, many reasons, and I’m kind of glad to just see it come to an end. But there are things I’m excited for and things I’m looking forward to in the new year, so let’s bring on the good times, yeah?


Books I’ve Read

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

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  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I forgot just how fun and magical this first book is, though I did have a few things about it that I didn’t like. 4.5/5 stars
  • Water’s Wrath by Elise Kova – So. Much. Happened. Lots of heartbreak, lots of growth, lots of secrets and betrayal. 4/5 stars

Books I’ve Gotten

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

“But Rayna, don’t you already own ToG and CoM?” Yes, but I got them in hardcover to finally match the rest of the series!

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Thank you to my awesome TBTB Secret Santa, Jordin @ A Bottomless Book Bag, for Shadowshaper and I’ll Give You the Sun! I can’t wait to read them!

2016 Reading Challenge

For my Goodreads reading challenge I had set my goal to 30 books, and well, I surpassed the number pretty easily:

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I’m so proud of the progress I made this year because I really didn’t think I would read as many as I did considering my reading rate dropped significantly around June/July. Still, I’m very happy with it and am excited for next year. My 2017 reading challenge will also be set to 30 books because I feel that’s a very attainable goal for me and it’s enough to push me to read as much as I can.

Other Blog Posts

Writing Related

Fun Things

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33/30. Yup, I read over 30 fantasy books this year! I’m really not surprised because it’s my favorite genre, but I had a great time participating in this challenge again and I can’t wait to do it next year. Speaking of which…

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I’m joining in the 2017 Flights of Fantasy reading challenge next year! The challenge is once again running from January 1st to December 31st, so it’s the whole year to read fantasy! I’m once again going to set my fantasy reading goal to 30 books, which is a very attainable goal for someone who loves fantasy as much as I do. Sign ups are open, so join in the fun of reading fantasy over the course of the year!

Instagram

So over on my Instagram I did the things! I had a lot of fun participating in this month’s challenges, but I wasn’t as faithful to it as I was in November. I can’t wait to do more in January and maybe do more photos that stray away from the challenges? Not sure yet.

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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!

  • Cait @ Paper Fury talked about the eight types of book reviewers, and I think I’m a mix of numbers 1 and 2.
  • Hazel @ Stay Bookish talked about 2016 being the year of problematic, and frankly, I agree with her.
  • The Red Queen trilogy by Victoria Aveyard and the Selection series by Keira Cass each have coloring books now? What? When did that happen? I just got the email about it, so if you’re totally into these series, check out the books! Red Queen // Selection

Life Updates

  • All the Christmas parties! All the goodies! Other than work parties and parties with friends, I participated in The Broke and the Bookish’s Secret Santa this year and I had so much fun with it! I now have a pen pal and I also loved my gifts. c: It was so fun and I’m definitely going to join in next year.
    • The gift included I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, as well as a Bookworm candle from FrostBeard Studios, an elephant holding a book magnet, Mermaid Kiss chapstick from From the Page, Pop! Funko of Ariel from The Little Mermaid (my favorite Disney princess!), and a cute little stocking with an R on it and some candy.
  • For Christmas my hubby and I got a PS4 (first version model from a friend so it was cheap lol), which was a gift to both of us. So for myself I got a bunch of present from me to me, and they were: Lihit Lab pencil case, Micron pens, white Gelly Roll pens, Pentel brush marker, Sailor Moon bookmarks from LumosCoffeeRead, The Night Lord candle from Muggle Library Candles, and the illustrated editions of the first two Harry Potter books. I also got Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian for the PS4 (which I loved and am loving both).
  • THEN for Christmas I got four PS4 games: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Sword Art Online: Last Song, Tales of Zestiria, and Final Fantasy Class 0. I also got a musical floor mat that does the Jingle Bells song when you step on it (muahahahah), some candles with LED lights, ping pong paddle, candy (so much candy….), and a Bluetooth speaker! Honestly, it was a great Christmas and I’m thankful to my hubby and parents for getting me fun things. c:

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

How were your holidays? What were some of your favorite books you read this month? Did you get any bookish goodies for the holidays? Tell me all the things!

All the Updates! | NaNoWriMo, Anniversary, Reading, Life, & Blog

Hey peeps! So I just wanted to give an update as to what’s been going on in my life and in many parts of my life, especially in this upcoming month of November.

Anniversary

Today, November 1st, marks my one year wedding anniversary! I can’t believe a year has already gone by since I married my best friend. It’s been such a fast year and it’s been a good one at that. Today we’re going to be out and about going to restaurants and shopping (of course Barnes and Noble will be included in the shopping) and possibly star gazing, so it’s going to be a really fun time. Here’s one of the pictures from our wedding day last year:

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Reading

Okay, last month was an epic fail in terms of reading. Even though I still managed to read something, I feel so lacking! I miss reading and diving into worlds and getting attached to characters. So for the month of November I think I’m going to try to read at least three books, even though this month is going to be crazy with NaNoWriMo and all that. BUT I do have the first week off for vacation from work, so yay for that! We’ll see how much I get done. My “currently reading” pile keeps getting bigger and bigger because I keep starting books and putting them down, so I really need to power through them.

On my currently reading pile (which is just a stack on my shelves) I have twelve physical books that I have started and have yet to actually finish. Some are more read than others, but I’m still a fail in terms of having come anywhere near finishing them. I’m going to just try to read what interests me most because I really don’t want to pick up another book and get stuck again.

The books are:

And this doesn’t even include all of the e-books and audiobooks I have yet to finish, either…

I’m a mess. Which book do you recommend I finish reading first? I’m kind of leaning towards Goblet of Fire or Magic Strikes.

NaNoWriMo

Speaking of NaNo, I’m participating this year! If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, click here to read my post about preparing for it. I actually decided that I’m going to continue writing the story I was working on during Camp NaNoWriMo earlier this year and so I’m happy with my decision to do that; I’ve been putting it off for so long and I really just want to finish it – at least the first draft. So wish me luck because it’s going to be one interesting month.

Check out my profile to become my writing buddy and see what I’m writing! I’ll most likely update the synopsis some time this month, but you can check out an excerpt there.

Life

Okay, so life seems to slowly be getting back on track in terms of work. I’ve been working six days a week full-time over the past two months, and I’m just exhausted. Having a week off from work is exciting, but I also have no idea what I’m going to do with myself… other than read and write, of course. But I am excited that I actually have Wednesdays off again (as well as Sundays, as always), so that’ll be nice to be able to just have a day to do whatever I want.

Also, someone decided to dent the hood of my car. I’m really annoyed by it – I don’t even care about having them pay for the damage, I just want an apology and an explanation. But I probably won’t get either, but we’ll see if maybe my landlord can help out with security footage and all of that.

So I finally decided to bring my bird, Yoshi, to the apartment and I am so happy I did! He’s much happier now, I think, especially since we upgraded his cage, gave him a lot more toys, different perches for his foot health, and just… I’m happy! I’m finally taking care of him the way I’ve wanted to for years but have been prevented mostly by my parents (not that they were being mean about it). So yay, birdie! Here he is:

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He’s a lovebird, and no, he does not need a buddy with him despite common misconception. He isn’t hand tamed, but he’s got a great personality for handling, so I’m hoping that with time and patience I’ll be able to become his friend.

If you want to see updates with Yoshi and our journey of becoming friends, you can check out our tumblr!

Blog

Alright, so I’ve really kind of neglected this blog in the last month; I think part of it is because I didn’t have much to say and the other part was just not really reading much or being part of the community as much. So sad to think, really. But I’m going to do my best this month to update weekly with NaNoWriMo updates, as well as anything else I can think of! I really want this to be a fun, engaging, and interactive place for you guys, so please let me know if you have any suggestions for topics, blog posts, or books! I’d love to hear them.

I believe that’s it for updates! I’ll do them every now and again to keep you guys in the loop and to just get some things off of my chest every now and then, because who doesn’t need that every once in a while?

But yeah, please let me know if you have any suggestions for blog posts or topics, as well as what I should read first from my list up above. Thanks a bunch and have a wonderful day!