Saturday, September 30, 2017

Book Busters Read-a-Thon | TBR

It's time for another Readathon! This time, it's a Readathon hosted by Elena Reads Books on YouTube, called the Book Busters Readathon. It runs from September 30th to October 6th.
I thought this one looked very unique because it has a card to base your TBR on - the goal is to complete a row left to right:


I'm rather busy this week, so I'm going to take this very casually and some of my options are a bit loose or open - so they might be a bit spur of the moment. I figured I'd just make a little stack of options, and then dive right on in!

A BESTSELLER

  • I'm starting with a bestseller that I plan on finishing this Readathon, and that is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I'm exactly 200 pages in at the moment, meaning I'm a bit over halfway so I know I'll finish it sometime this week!

FEMALE MAIN CHARACTER
  • I... haven't really thought about this option yet, though I might end up rereading The Penderwicks on Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall for this one. Another option is Julia Vanishing or another book off the library shelves that I find intriguing at the time!

YELLOW ON COVER
  • I definitely plan to read The Penderwicks on Point Mouette for this one, and if I end up reading that for the previous challenge, I'll continue on with the Penderwicks series and read The Penderwicks in Spring. Although I'm now realizing I could read a couple of Nancy Drew mysteries... 

WRITTEN BEFORE I WAS BORN
  • I'm thinking of reading a classic for this one. More specifically, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I've never read it but I really do want to. Another option, of course, is Hamlet by William Shakespeare. (I'm not sure why I put "of course" there. It's not like that was a particularly obvious answer.)

or SHORT STORY COLLECTION
  • I might end up avoiding the classic route completely and opting instead on Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, a collection of what I believe to be horror short stories. I'm a scaredy-cat, but these would be perfect for that chilling October mood!

COVER BUY
  • Honestly, I'd be very impressed with myself if I made it this far. If I did, my strategy would be to choose a random book from the library based solely on the cover, which might actually be fun! 
There's another sort of scorecard, of participation points. These rows don't have to be done in any particular order: 


Here I am, posting a TBR. I also plan on posting a Wrap Up, a currently reading photo on Twitter, reviewing a book on Goodreads, and you can bet I'm building a pillow fort tomorrow to cozily read in! 

I'm sorry this post is a bit all over the place, but I always love participating in Readathons, and I can't wait for what will hopefully be a fun and successful week of reading!




Thursday, September 7, 2017

July & August | Reading Wrap Ups

I ended up reading 8 books over the course of the past two months! (Although one was a reread and one was a collection of short stories...)

JULY:

  1. Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare (and others) - There were a lot of people who helped out with writing this book, but I didn't feel like listing them all... whoops! My individual ratings for each story are linked above, but as a whole I felt positively about this bind-up. I wasn't the biggest fan of The Bane Chronicles, so my great like for this book came a bit out of left field for me! Out of the ten stories featured, my favorite was probably Nothing But Shadows. It makes me so excited to read The Last Hours trilogy when it comes out...
  2. Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson - This one is the sequel to Walk On Earth a Stranger and follows a girl who can sense gold... during the time of the California Gold Rush. I've always loved reading about the Oregon Trail (and similar scenarios) just because it's something I don't see too often. I loved the last book, and this one was amazing as well. I liked how it delved into more sensitive issues - such as the treatment of women, Chinese immigrants, and Native Americans during this time.
  3. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter - This was a shameless reread but NO REGRETS. I love-love-love this book (thing?) and I listened to the soundtrack while reading the book (thing) this time, which only heightened the experience for me. Hamilton - while one of the only musicals I've listened to - is definitely my favorite musical, and I have so many memories with it already that I know I'll hold on to for a very long time.
  4. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - When a book makes you want to write, you know it's good. I loved the atmosphere of this one. The world and characters and mystery all just positively screamed "fantasy" to me (to be fair, it was a fantasy novel. And a great one, at that) and I just loved it. I'm not usually a huge fan of romance in books, but I adored the romance in this one and thought it was so cute! It was trope-y in places, but I didn't mind in the slightest.
  5. Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn - Oh boy. Such mixed feelings on this one, honestly. I love a good mystery, and my experience reading this was great. I participated in Twitter's "reading sprints" and interacted with other readers and generally had a blast. The actual book was just okay to me. I felt like a lot of things were sort of convient, because the characters were so young. Also, the writing felt a bit too tell-not-show for my tastes. It was fun to read and very quick, though!
AUGUST:

  1. The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius - A novel translated to English from Swedish, featuring a gorilla protagonist named Sally Jones. This was absolutely lovely. It takes place in many different settings, as Sally Jones tries to prove the innocence of her human friend after he's sent to prison for murder. The characters were strong and the writing was skillful. I realize it was translated to English fairly recently, but it deserves way more reads than it has. I enjoyed it immensely!
  2. On Writing by Stephen King - I have a confession: while I enjoyed this book, I didn't love it as much as everyone else seems to. A lot of the stuff I'd been lucky enough to have learned in English classes of the past! However it was cool to get to know more about his life and who he is, and I appreciated the tips on editing!
  3. Now I Rise by Kiersten White - The sequel to the Vlad the Impaler gender-bent retelling And I Darken. But oh man, And I Darken seems like backstory for this novel. It was dark, riveting, opposing, action-packing, intriguing, political, and just overall epic. I love both of the characters - Lada and Radu - although I enjoyed Radu's chapters a bit more this time around. I really can't wait for the conclusion of this saga, although I'm dreading this trilogy's end at the same time.
TOP THREE:

My top three books of these eight were probably...
  • Hamilton: The Revolution
  • The Murderer's Ape
  • Now I Rise
Although I read lots of good books these past couple of months! Happy Autumn (or... almost Autumn) everybody! I'm excited for hot cocoa, sweaters, rain, Halloween and - of course - NaNoWriMo!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Musing Monday | Aug. 21

Time for another Musing Monday! This is a weekly thing hosted by The Purple Booker and asks you to answer two reading-related questions each week.

The first of these questions is one of the following:
  • I’m currently reading...
    Up next I think I’ll read…
    I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
    I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
    I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
    I can’t wait to get a copy of…
    I wish I could read ___, but…
    I blogged about ____ this past week…
And the second is a random question each week.

This week's random question is: Do you steer away from heavy emotional books?

♚♚♚

I'm currently reading...

I'm actually in the middle of three books at the moment! One of them is required summer reading for school, one of them is a classic novel, and one of them is just a "for fun" read. The required reading is On Writing by Stephen King, the classic novel is The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and the "for fun" read is Now I Rise by Kiersten White. My favorite so far is definitely the latter, and I actually may end up DNFing the Hemingway novel. I just can't really get into it at the moment, but maybe someday?

Do you steer away from heavy emotional books?

Not purposefully! I actually really like books that make me feel something! Like the Purple Booker mentioned in her post, if an author succeeds in making me tear up or get misty-eyed, I'm actually more likely to pick up another book of theirs in the future!


♚♚♚

I woke up early to see the Eclipse this morning, it was so beautiful! I live near a field, so we had close to a hundred people from our neighborhood watching it together in the field, it was a lot of fun. The rest of my day is free, though, so I'm probably going to try to get some more reading done! Have a great day!

Monday, July 24, 2017

BookTubeAThon Reading Updates

Apparently I have no chill. My motto at the moment is: see a Readathon? Join in! So, this week (from the 24th to the 30th) I will be reading along with the annual BookTubeAThon, hosted by the lovely Ariel Bissett. I am not a Booktuber, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity so here we are!

I haven't been keeping up with my reading as well as I could have been this year, and I have fallen four books behind on my Goodreads challenge, so I really need to step up my game. I'll record my progress throughout the week in the one big masterpost, and update it every day (or as often as possible) so stick around if you wanna!

MY PROGRESS

✰ DAY ONE (Monday, July 24th)
  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - 67 pages (66-133)
  • Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter - 160 pages (1-160)
    • Pages Read Today: 227 pages
    • Total Pages Read: 227 pages
      • Commentary: I had already begun reading Of Fire and Stars before the ReadAThon began, but my reread for Hamilton: The Revolution came out of left field. It hadn't been in my original plans, but I've been in such a Hamilton mood lately that I felt compelled to reread it, and lucky I did! Unlike last time, I actually listened to the songs as I read them, and both of those things combined just add such a depth to the music? I'm enjoying it a lot!
✰ DAY TWO (Tuesday, July 25th)
  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - 72 pages (134-206)
  • Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter - 126 pages (161-286)
    • Pages Read Today: 198
    • Total Pages Read: 425
      • Commentary: I finished Hamilton: The Revolution today, and it was just as moving and inspiring as the first time I read it (and the first fifteen times I listened to the musical...shh). It truly is a work of art, and I'm only slightly envious that I'll never be able to write something as good as it. The other part of me is just glad that the musical was shared with the world.

✰ DAY THREE (Wednesday, July 26th)
  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - 108 pages (207-315)
    • Pages Read Today: 108
    • Total Pages Read: 533
      • Commentary: Man, this book is really getting good! It's sweeping, mysterious, romantic, tense, gritty, and epic all rolled in to one novel. It's written in such a way that it feels like so much has happened already in these 300 pages, and the stakes just keep getting higher. There's only around 70 pages left, so I'm planning to try and finish this one tomorrow - a feat which will prove easy if the ending is just as compelling as the rest of the book.
✰ DAY FOUR (Thursday, July 27th)
  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - 21 pages (316-337)
    • Pages Read Today: 21
    • Total Pages Read: 554
      • Commentary: Yeah... it was a bit of a "Reading Slump" sort of day, I suppose. I didn't get much reading done, but I'm going to try to aim for finishing Of Fire and Stars tomorrow since there's only around fifty pages left!
✰ DAY FIVE (Friday, July 28th)
  • Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - 51 pages (338-389)
  • Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn - 60 pages (1-60)
    • Pages Read Today: 111
    • Total Pages Read: 665
      • Commentary: I finally finished my second book of the Readathon! I really did enjoy Of Fire and Stars, and the main characters were really amazing. I've just barely started Tokyo Heist, and it's a bit harder to get into, but I'm sure I'll grow to love it. I seemed to gain back my reading momentum today, partially due to all the reading sprints I participated on with the BookTubeAThon twitter account! The community there was so great and really kept me motivated.
✰ DAY SIX (Saturday, July 29th)
  • Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn - 58 pages (61-119)
    • Pages Read Today: 58
    • Total Pages Read: 723
      • Commentary: Well, I didn't read a ton of pages today, but I think that's okay. Especially because I was visiting with family for the majority of this afternoon and evening (and then, of course, I had to watch some Sherlock and rewatch some of Lost. It was a necessity). I did end up finishing Part One of Tokyo Heist and I'm intrigued to see what happens next. I have some ideas for whodunit, but nothing I'm willing to commit to yet...
✰ DAY SEVEN (Sunday, July 30th)
  • Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn - 253 pages (120-373)
    • Pages Read Today: 253
    • Total Pages Read: 976
      • Commentary: So... I kind of both finished my third book of the ReadAThon and read the most pages in one day out of this entire week? I'm pretty proud of that, even if the sentence proclaiming it wasn't entirely grammatically correct. I did a few more sprints on Twitter, including some 2am ones, which may have contributed to the fact that I felt very in the zone reading-wise today! I will probably have a full wrap-up tomorrow, but for now, I just want to say that I had a blast this ReadAThon and I'm satisfied with my results!
              

Saturday, July 15, 2017

May & June | Reading Wrap Ups

I ended up reading 7 books throughout May and June and all of them (er, well... most of them), I was quite pleased with!

MAY:

  1. Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine - Whoa. I was so impressed with this book. It was a book we read in school, but I ended up enjoying it immensely. It's a middle grade that follows a young girl named Ling in Communist China and it's based off the author's own experiences. I loved Ling's relationship with both of her parents - especially her father - and the writing was simplistic yet powerful. I feel like I also learned quite a lot, and it turned a lot of my views of things on their heads!
  2. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - Ordinarily I don't pick up contemporary (for whatever reason), but I decided to pick this one up both due to the cover and due to the fact that many people seemed to enjoy it. Luckily, I was amongst those people! I felt the main character was a bit hypocritical about some things, but other than that I did really like the characters and the friendships that were found. It was a quick and easy read, and would be perfect for the beach. Or, in my case, for the riverside, as we were camping while I read this! I had such a fun time reading it!
  3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake - I'd been itching to read this one for quite a while. A story about triplets who have to fight to the death to be queen? Sounds dark and twisted and magical, so clearly, I'm in! I loved the action in this, and the characters (Team Arsinoe all the way!), however there were a few boring patches in the middle that sort of brought my enjoyment down just a bit.

JUNE:

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling - Whew, that's quite a long title! Anyways, as I've mentioned before, I loved both the movie and the written screenplay. Newt Scamander is my precious Hufflepuff child, and I'm so proud to have him as a housemate. The illustrations in this version were really cool as well, and sometimes I just couldn't stop staring at them!
  2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling - Speaking of long titles! This was a collection of memoirs about Mindy's life, and as we know, I love her. However this book just wasn't for me I think? A lot of the stories were kind of difficult for me to relate to? Like a lot of it was about boys and relationships in dating which was fine. Like it's your book, so you do you! But I had just expected there to be more on friendships and comedy and such.
  3. Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer - This was actually a reread for me, but the first time I hadn't watched Glee and didn't know who Chris Colfer was, but this time I had and did and I loved him. So clearly it needed a reread. And it held it's own again! This was just a really cute and fun middle grade story. While it had some predictable elements both in the plot itself, and in the writing style (if that makes sense), I still found it to be really enjoyable and I will be looking for the sequels!
  4. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger - This is my dad's least favorite book of all time, so clearly I had to read it. Plus, it's a classic! I'm... not sure why. I guess because the style of writing was such a breakthrough, and it dealt with topics that were more... sensitive for the time? Like smoking and alcohol? Apparently? I don't know. I wasn't the biggest fan of this book, mainly because all the narrarator really did was flirt with girls, drink, smoke and make excuses. Not to be hypocritical, but he also complained like... a lot. Open to any page of this book, and it'll have him complaining. Go on, do it, I dare you! Of course I didn't hate this book, it is an easy book to read (which is something coming from me, especially when it comes to classics) and there's something about that once I started reading it, I really couldn't stop. So I guess it was enjoyable in that aspect of it!
TOP THREE:

My top three of these seven books are probably...
  • Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party
  • Dumplin'
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
With, of course, honorable mentions going to Three Dark Crowns and Land of Stories.
Until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Books of 2017 (So Far)



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke & The Bookish. This week, the topic is "Top Ten Books You've Read This Year, So Far". I'll be honest: I've only read 22 books so far this year, so choosing 10 should be fairly easy, haha! Even so, here are my choices (all links lead to my Goodreads reviews):


1. Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This is the sequel/companion to Illuminae, which was one of my favorites of last year. And this was probably my favorite book of the entire year so far! Although I was in a slump while reading it, I could not put this one down and read it in a mere few days! In my opinion, this entire series is just pure fun, and probably my favorite sci-fi series to date.

2-4. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. These were all re-reads to me, but they all held up the second time around, no doubt about it. I gave each of them five stars on Goodreads. To be honest, I'd forgotten just how much I truly loved them, and I think the first book at least will become a classic in the future, as I mentioned in my review!

5. Revolution is Not A Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine. I read this one for book club in my English class, and wow. I was not expecting to love it nearly as much as I did! It's a middle grade historical fiction novel, taking place in China during Chairman Mao's rule. It was so so heartfelt and it was clear the author had channeled her own experiences into the novel, which made it that much more touching.

6. Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. Here's where the ratings/ranking get trickier, because a lot of the ones following are closer to 3.5 stars, starting with this one. I thought some stuff was repetitive but honestly? I think about this book a lot, and apply a lot of the lessons to my own life. It's sort of life-changing, actually, and it would feel like a personal betrayal not to include it here.

7.  Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Although this didn't quite measure up to the first book in my opinion, it was a very worthy ending, and I still just have lots and lots of feelings for these characters okay?! I love them. I'm surprised by how much I loved this duology as a whole, because I wasn't the biggest fan (or... a fan, period. Oops.) of the author's first series. But my oh my, she proved her prowess here.

8. Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix. This wasn't quite a reread - I never got the opportunity to finish reading it the first time around. Perhaps that's why I was so happy to read and finish it this time. I really liked the style of this middle grade novel, and the ideas it brought about. Yeah, it was a little overwhelming at one (or two) point(s) but I loved it all the same!
9..Dumplin' by Julie Murphy. Ordinarily, contempary isn't a genre I really reach for, for whatever reason, but I adored this book! Some stuff kind of put me off, but then something else would happen and I'd be right back with it and invested again. It was such a great summer read, and I can see myself rereading it as a beach read in the future!

10. Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them: The Script by J.K. Rowling. A recent read, but after adoring the movie, I knew I had to check out the script. Luckily for me, my library had it in and I devoured it! I really felt like the characters were so solid and the storyline actually felt a bit more assembled while I was reading the script, maybe because I'd already seen the movie beforehand?


Okay, I lied. Even though I've only read 22 books this year, that was so not easy. I've been lucky enough to have read many great books this year that didn't quite make this list, but these are definitely a solid Top 10 for me!

As always, thanks for reading! Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my choices, or if there are any on here that you've still been meaning to read!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Fandom Mashup (#6) - Hufflepuff Pride!

Fandom Mashups are a weekly meme hosted by Micheline @ Lunar Rainbow Reviews. Each week, there is a new topic, and participants choose five characters that either will help them with the task outlined, or would otherwise fit with the topic at hand. This was technically the topic for last week, but as a proud Hufflepuff myself, I just couldn't skip out on this one -

"Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil" - Pick 5 characters from other fandoms that you think would fit in well in Hufflepuff House! 

♚♚♚ 


  1. Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit
    The ultimate Hufflepuff, Bilbo is fair and fiercely loyal, just like many a hobbit. While he is more content with his gardens and the worlds in his books, he is still unafraid of hard work and is very brave when he needs to be, just like many of his House! He also just so happens to be my favorite fictional character of all time. Just sayin'.


  2. Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings
    Listen. My brother (and many others) will try to tell you he's a Gryffindor - and he's certainly got the courage for it, sure - but in my eyes, Sam will always be in Hufflepuff. First of all, he's a gardener and we tend to excel at Herbology. Second of all, and most importantly, his loyalty to Frodo and his promise is what drives most of his bravery, showing to me that loyalty is his dominant trait!

  3. Tiana, Princess and the Frog
    One of my favorite (if not my very favorite) Disney princesses, Tiana is just about as patient and hard-working as it gets. She's so dedicated, and while she's also fiercely intelligent, I think she would fit right in with the Hufflepuff house.


  4. Charlie Pace, Lost
    Another one of my favorite characters, would you fancy that! (I might be biased towards Hufflepuffs. What can I say? I just can't help but love them.) While Charlie doesn't quite have the whole patience thing nailed down, he is kind to his core and loyal enough to risk his life on multiple occasions for the people he cares about.

  5. Rey, The Force Awakens
    Last but not least, is Rey. This is one of the ones that isn’t much of a question for me. She waited for years for her family to come back, and is extremely hardworking, patient, and loyal with a high sense for justice.
(Also, bonus from my own original series I'm writing - Chessie! Chessie is incredibly loyal - heck that's her primary motivation, really - and also has a strong moral compass. She's ferociously kind and hard-working and I just love her a lot.)
♚♚♚ 

This was so much fun and honestly I could keep on rambling about my Hufflepuff headcanons forever... I'm so glad that this prompt allowed me to name at least a few, though. ;)

Who knows, I might be back with more someday, hehe!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

March & April | Reading Wrap Ups

I guess we're doing Reading Wrap Ups every other month now, here at Bookshelf Kitten. Which is honestly probably a better method since I haven't exactly been rocking the reading scene this year. I don't know if it's because I've been getting more into music and TV shows, leaving less time for reading, or if I've just been in a bit of a slump. Oh well?

In March and April, I read a total of 8 books. It also helped that the 24 Hour Readathon was hosted late April. Without further ado, here are the books I read!

MARCH:


  1. The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams - This was a domestic tragedy that was required reading for my English class. While it was an okay play in my opinion (and it was funny to hear the different voices that my class did while reading aloud - please hire us for the audiobook), I just didn't get the big emotional impact that this play intended to deliver.
  2. Crooked Kingdom, by Leigh Bardugo - As I've said before, I wasn't a huge fan of Bardugo's first trilogy, but this duology of hers definitely changed my opinion of her writing. This was the final book in the Six of Crows duology, and I know I'm going to miss these characters so much. My favorite, of course, was Jesper, with Kaz a close second. But all of them will be sorely missed and I do hope that the author writes more books with these characters because even writing this brief paragraph makes my heart ache! I want more stories with them!
APRIL:

  1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck - This was a non-fiction book detailing the Growth Mindset and why it's important in school, business, parenting, relationships, and life in general. It was required reading for my Psychology course, and I'm glad it was. I didn't finish the entire thing, but I came close, and it was enough to honestly change my life and how I think. Schools are beginning to teach the Growth Mindset ideals that began with Dweck and this book, and I think it's a very powerful thing. Some of the examples did get repetitive to the point where it bored me a couple of times, but I think the impact this had on my life is more than enough to balance that out.
  2. The Martian, by Andy Weir - Unpopular opinion time: I had a difficult time getting through this book. It was funny, and I did read it fairly quickly whenever I decided to pick it up, but the problem was with myself. I am not good at science like... at all. So all the technical mathematical things in this book went right over my head and further proved while science-fiction is a rare genre for me. My dad and brother really enjoyed this book, and they're way more mathematical than I am, so I guess it was just my confused brain that brought this book down for me!
  3. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins - This was my first reread of this book pretty much since it came out. As I stated in my Goodreads review, this book will be timeless. It's a modern classic for me, just because of the easy writing style and it's critiques on modern society and consumerism. It really makes you think.
  4. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins - The second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and another reread. I was on the edge of my seat reading this, just as I was the first time, when I listened to the Audiobook of it. The Games' twist in this book was a shocking plot twist to me the first time around, but this time it was truly heart-wrenching for me to read. It shows just how cruel the villainous characters in this book really are.
  5. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins - The third and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, and my final reread of the month. It seems to be many peoples' least favorite book in the series, but it actually may be my favorite despite some of my arguments with certain character decisions at the end of the book, and the inherent sadness it carries.
  6. All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum - This book and Mockingjay were both read during the 24 Hour Readathon. I read this book with a big, three hour gap in between reading sessions, and also read it when I was sort of puttering out/becoming more irritated with everything in existence. Because of this, I feel I didn't get the full effect I would've if I had taken more time to read it. I really liked this, and so many people get angry at this book from the title without bothering to examine what this book is about - simple happiness, honesty, and compassion that almost seems to fade as you reach teenagerdom and middle age.
TOP THREE:

My top three from these past months would have to be...
  • Crooked Kingdom
  • Mindset
  • Mockingjay
Although I read lots of good books in March and April, and feel compelled to give honorable mentions to Catching Fire and All I Really Need To Know...

I'll be back next time with a May and June wrap up! (Or hopefully another post before then). Until next time, happy reading!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Musing Monday | May 1

It's been over a year since I participated in a Monday Musing, so I thought it was time to bring it back! This is a weekly thing hosted by The Purple Booker and asks you to answer two reading-related questions each week.

The first of these questions is one of the following:
  • I’m currently reading...
    Up next I think I’ll read…
    I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
    I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
    I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
    I can’t wait to get a copy of…
    I wish I could read ___, but…
    I blogged about ____ this past week…
And the second is a random question each week.

This week's random question is: Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

♚♚♚

This past week I blogged about...

The Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! All my posts can be found HERE! I had a blast as I always do, and I'm mulling over whether I should join in on the October Readathon or not... it may still be months away but it's never to early to consider, right?

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I love Non-Fiction as long as it's a topic I'm interesting in - Spook by Mary Roach was fascinating to me, and I recently read a book called Mindset that was a little boring but I truly think has the capacity to be life-changing for many people. Me included! However that being said, my favorite is probably Fiction because Fantasy is my favorite genre, and I love exploring worlds that aren't my own, but instead are the product of another person's mind! It's crazy!

What about you, do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Closing Survey

That's a wrap on another Dewey's Readathon! I had such a fun time, even if I was away for most of the second half of the Readathon. Without further ado, here is the closing survey!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
  • Well, from Hours 12-18 I was away with family, but Hours 21 & 22 were probably the most daunting because I could barely keep my eyes open! (And yes, I fell asleep.)

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year?

  • I actually have an entire Goodreads shelf dedicated to 'Books I Couldn't Put Down' here!

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?
  • Nope, I had a lot of fun!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
  • I enjoyed the Mini-Challenges this year and found them to be very engaging. They helped keep me motivated as well, and provided a nice little break between reading sessions.

5. How many books did you read?

  • Two.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (390 pages)
  • All I Need To Know I Learned in Kidnergarten by Robert Fulghum (196 pages)

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
  • I really enjoyed reading Mockingjay for the second time.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
  • All I Need To Know, just because I read it so late at night that I was too distracted to actually understand anything I read. Oops? I'm planning on eventually rereading it and I'm sure I'll like it a lot then.

9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
  • I've never participated in an October session before, so who knows? I might do that this year. But I will definitely participate again next April as a reader with a bit of cheerleading on the side!

As always, some final stats...
Total Pages Read: 586
Total Time Read: 8 hours, 03 minutes
Total Blog Posts: 10
Total Mini-Challenges Participated In: 3

-

Thank you to all the hosts and community for making this so much fun like it is every year and I can't wait for the next Readathon!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 22

Oh, gracious. The words of the book were getting all muddled in my head, and I truly think it may be time for me to retire to bed. It's earlier than I normally choose to go to sleep, but I think because I have finished one of my goals of reading 8 hours, and I have just finished my second book, that sleep may be the best option at this point!

Hour: Half past Hour 22.
Currently Reading: I just finished up
93672
Pages Read Since Last Update: 66
Total Pages Read: 586
Time Read Since Last Update: 42 minutes
Total Time Read: 8 hours, 03 minutes
Comments: Although I greatly enjoyed this book when I began reading it, I think reading it so late at night somewhat lessened the experience for me. However, it is such a short and fun book that I know I will pick it up for a reread some time in the future. I'm glad I got as far as I did with the Readathon, and I definitely read more than I expected to, so that certainly makes me happy. I think I'm going to be retiring to bed now, so good night and I hope everyone's Readathon went as well as mine did!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 21

At this point in the Readathon, it is 1:00am and I can barely keep my eyes open... if it weren't so late at night, I might try a change of scenery to keep me awake, but alas, I am mostly confined to my room. Ah well!

Hour: Hour 21
Currently Reading:
93672

Pages Read Since Last Update: 108
Total Pages Read: 498
Time Read Since Last Update: 1 hour, 16 minutes
Total Time Read: 7 hours, 20 minutes
Comments: Oh, boy. It's getting to be that time of night where there is random music playing from somewhere in the back of my mind, and between that, my ever-straying thoughts, and the drooping of my eyelids, it is getting very difficult to focus on the words on the page. I'm doing my best though, especially since I am so greatly enjoying this book. I only have maybe 50 or 60 pages left to go - it's rather short! I did try to wake myself up by grabbing a granola bar to munch on and washing it down with a glass of cool water, but that only briefly helped. I also participated in one mini-challenge, bringing my total up to three this Readathon.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish this book before I go to bed, and maybe even start a third one if I'm up for it? 


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 19

Well, long time no see! And this time, I mean it's been about five hours. But I'm back now, and though I may be a bit sleepy, I will try to power through for at least one more hour if not a couple more!

Hour: 20 minutes past Hour 19
Currently Reading:
93672

Pages Read Since Last Update: 21
Total Pages Read: 411
Time Read Since Last Update: 15 minutes
Total Time Read: 6 hours, 04 minutes
Comments: I decided to begin All I Really Need To Know, I Learned in Kidnergarten, which was rather a spur of the moment choice! I have only read the first few stories but they made me smile so much and feel rather happy, in a way that Tolkein's writings for me tend to evoke. I only got to read a bit, however, before we were off to my cousins' house for dinner. It's about a two-hour roundtrip, and while we were there we ate dinner, played Ping-Pong and Clue and a few other card games, and ate brownies and ice cream. I'm home now, and although my eyelids are droopy I am determined to stay up to read some more. I want to get at least 500 pages read before the end of the Readathon.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Mid-Event Survey

Here we are, halfway through the Readathon nearly exactly as we are just 15 minutes past Hour 12! I've read more than I anticipated having read by this point in the Readathon, and I'm excited to see what the second half brings.

1. What are you reading right now?

Nothing, actually! I just finished Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins and I have yet to pick up a second book.

2. How many books have you read so far?

Just the one!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I'm pretty sure I'll only get to one more book this Readathon, and I'm still deciding what book that might be... maybe a Rick Riordan book, or The Westing Game. I might also decide on picking up Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. There are so many choices!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I've had a few, but I think I'll have more in the second half of the Readathon.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

I don't think I've had many surprises, but I suppose I'm rather impressed with myself for being able to stay focused on reading for such long amounts of time!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 12

Looking at a screen after having read for so long is a bit disorienting, I'll admit! But I've finally finished my first book of the Readathon!

Hour: A bit past Hour 12.
Currently Reading: I just finished
7260188

Pages Read Since Last Update: 149
Total Pages Read: 390
Time Read Since Last Update: 2 hours, 16 minutes
Total Time Read: 5 hours, 49 minutes
Comments: As stated before, I have finally finished my first book of the Readathon! I really enjoyed rereading this book for the first time. I feel like I noticed more the second time around than I did the first time I read it. I got to finish these last 150 pages in a relative sense of peace since the majority of my family went kayaking! We are getting ready to go to our cousins house for dinner soon, so I'm not sure how much I'll get read in these next few hours, but that's okay, I'm honestly pretty pleased with my progress thus far either way!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 9

Because I had the house (mostly) to myself for the majority of these two hours, it was rather nice having some peace and quiet to read in! However, one of my brothers and my parents have come back now, so I might try to find a place to regain my quiet sense of reading!

Hour: Hour 9
Currently Reading:
7260188

Pages Read Since Last Update: 84
Total Pages Read: 241
Time Read Since Last Update: 1 hour, 08 minutes
Total Time Read: 3 hours, 32 minutes
Comments: I am making really great progress on this book! I have about 150 pages of it left, now. Since my last update, I have gotten quite a bit of time outside. First, it was to take my dog on her daily walk, and it was nice and sunny. It was a good refresher to feel the sun after spending the rest of the day reading inside! Then, I did some cheerleading on blogs and even participated in a couple of mini challenges! One that I participated in was the Show Us The Weather mini-challenge. I managed to take quite a nice picture:

Then, I participated in another hour-long reading sprint over on Goodreads and ended up reading a grand total of 76 pages in that hour. I read outside, because it was nice and warm and all the birds were singing and there were some pretty flower petals strewn across the ground from our blooming trees.
It's been a lovely day so far and I can't wait to finish up this book and continue my reading adventures!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 7

I've continued reading quite awhile since my last update, and I'm rather pleased with my progress if I do say so myself! I am set to read again after my small little break, and I'm anticipating getting lost in a good book once more!

Hour: Hour 7
Currently Reading:
7260188

Pages Read Since Last Update: 72
Total Pages Read: 157
Time Read Since Last Update: 1 hour
Total Time Read: 2 hours, 24 minutes
Comments: I got right back to reading after my previous update, and read for an hour straight. I didn't even know that much time had passed before I checked the clock! Then, I took a little break to eat two cheesy bagels for breakfast, and then take my shower. Later, my family is going kayaking on the river and I might join them. After that, we are going to eat dinner with my cousins, so hopefully I will get a bit more reading squeezed in between events here!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 5

It's just past Hour 5 of the Readathon, and I've had a pretty relaxed morning. I've been getting plenty of reading done, and so far I am very much enjoying Mockingjay. I think I might even like it more than the first time I read it. Without further ado, here is my first Readathon update!

Hour: Just past Hour 5.
Currently Reading: 
7260188

Pages Read Since Last Update: 85
Total Pages Read: 85
Time Read Since Last Update: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Total Time Read: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Comments: I woke up at 7:30 this morning, which is early for me! It's 9:15 now and I've already read for an hour and a half which is quite impressive, I think. I participated in an hour-long reading sprint on the Dewey's Goodreads page, and read 62 of my 85 pages during that hour long sprint. I'm getting a bit hungry, so I think I'll probably read a bit more, and then go down and eat some breakfast.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: Opening Survey

It's that time of year again - one of my favorite times of year in my humble opinion! Yes, that's right, it is time for the lovely Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! I have loved doing this Readathon in the April of the last two years, and although I might have a couple things going on today, I'm so excited to continue this tradition I've made for myself.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Pacific Northwest of the USA!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I am just about to start Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. It's a reread, but I'm looking forward to it, as it's my first time rereading it!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Hmm, perhaps a cheesy bagel, pretzel goldfish, or just a good ole granola bar.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

It's half past Hour 3 in my timezone, which is 7:30am. I so happen to be a night owl and not a morning person, so I am very sleepy.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I have done this the past two years! I'm just looking forward to allowing myself a full day of reading, and seeing how other people are doing on their reading as well!

Now, it is time to start my reading! I hope everyone has a lovely day, whether you are doing the Readathon or not!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Currently Watching | TV Shows

Although this is indeed a books blog, I've found myself growing addicted to Netflix/binge-watching TV shows as of late... so I decided it might be fun to share what I've been enjoying! Most of these I watched with my younger brother, Luke, although one of them I am currently watching has been by myself.

+ Recently Watched/Finished

Image result for arrested development show

No. of Seasons: 4
Genre: Comedy
Overview: A dysfunctional family and their day to day antics.

My brother and I watched all four of the seasons on Netflix and we really enjoyed it. Lots of laughs from us, and some inside jokes of our dad's that we finally understand fully! This was really what started our binge watching on Netflix journey.

Image result for a series of unfortunate events show
No. of Seasons: 1 (may be more in the future!)
Genre: ???
Overview: Three orphans try to avoid an evil man after their inheritance.

Can I just say that the casting on this one was perfect? I adored Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, and the child actors were great too, especially the actor for Klaus. My brother has never read these books but he liked this show just as much as I did, and we can't wait for the next season (if there is one, which hopefully there will be!)

Image result for stranger things
No. of Seasons: 1, soon to be 2
Genre: Science-Fiction
Overview: An 80s sci-fi throwback following a group of kids whose friend has gone mysteriously missing.

We watched this one on our dad's recommendation, and he ended up watching it with us as well. We binge watched this, like seriously binge watched this. I'm pretty sure we watched the entire season in one weekend. I'm not the biggest science fiction fan of the family, but even I really loved this show and I can't wait for the next season to come out!

+ Currently Watching

Image result for downton abbey

No. of Seasons: 6
Currently On: Season 2, Episode 3
Genre: Period Drama
Overview: It follows a rich family named the Crawleys, as well as their servants, before, during, and presumably after the events of the first World War.

So, my brother isn't watching this one with me, just me! And I feel kind of inherently bad for watching and enjoying this show, but it's just so easy to binge and I have a lot of feelings about a lot of the characters! I'm even beginning to like O'Brien...

Image result for lost show
No. of Seasons: 6? I think?
Currently On: Season 1, Episode 12
Genre: Survival? Mystery? ish?
Overview: After a plane crash, the survivors must learn to live on a mysterious deserted island.

This aired so long ago, but my brother and I are just getting around to watching it. We actually watched the first few episodes with our other brothers as well, so it was just an entire viewing party going on. This was the choice of the brothers, so I wasn't anticipating enjoying it since it's not my thing but it's really growing on me!


So, those are the shows that we have watched in the past few months/we are currently watching - out of them, I'm not sure which is my favorite, but it might be A Series of Unfortunate Events? I really loved that one despite the somewhat mixed reviews it's been getting.

I'm thinking of maybe doing a separate blog post on each of these shows or one of these shows if anyone's interested in it, talking about my favorite characters and episodes and things. I'd probably even be able to get my brother(s) to chip in!

I hope everyone's been having a great week and if anyone has a TV Show recommendation, I'd love to hear it...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Reads [#13] + Camp NaNoWriMo Plans

Hello, hello, again! It's been awhile (a ... long while, actually) since I have done a "Friday Reads" post, but I'm actually reading three books this lovely Friday, so I figured it would be as good a time as any to post a new segment!

I'd also like to include my Camp NaNoWriMo/current writing plans, but first... the books!

 ***
  1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - The first and possibly most exciting of the bunch! While I've been reading this for a little while now, due to school and general busyness getting in the way - I've really been enjoying this conclusion to the duology and all of the characters are my precious beans who I love (and who could most certainly kill me. Or at least con me.)
  2. Mindset by Carol Dweck - A non-fiction book revolving around psychology and specifically growth mindsets vs fixed mindsets. I'm reading this for my Psychology class and while it can get a bit repetitive with examples and things, it's still quite interesting and pretty short!
  3. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams - Again, for class, this time for English. It's a play and we're only on Scene Four but it's okay so far? All the reviews on Goodreads are positively glowing so I'm guessing it'll get even better as we go along!
***

As for writing... still plugging away at that November novel for NaNoWriMo. It's the first in a planned four-book Fantasy series about girl gangs and dark magic. With some dragons and pirates thrown in for good measure.

It's at around 160k words at the moment and almost none of them are good words. So, for Camp NaNoWriMo in April - I have set my goal as "50 Hours of Revision". I'm so pleased with this goal because I know it's achievable, but it'll be so incredibly difficult for me. I'll definitely be happier when I'm done though, since this rough draft/first draft has become very rambly and there is much cutting down and even reordering to do!

Is anybody else participating in Camp this year? What are you working on?

Friday, March 3, 2017

January & February | Reading Wrap-Ups

Well, it's been a minute and a half since I posted a reading wrap up of any sort. I have been writing reviews for every book I read over on my Goodreads page if you want to see how my last half of 2016 went or if you want further details on my thoughts on these books!

In January and February, I read a total of 7 books, so without any further ado I'll get right into them!

JANUARY:

  1. A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir - Just as thrilling as the first book in my opinion. Though I preferred the first book's plot and worldbuilding, this one was still a very strong addition, especially as we got the addition of a narrative voice to the book that I was incredibly happy to get. In fact, the third narrartor quickly became my favorite character. I'm so hyped that this series has been extended, because I could read so many books about these preciouses and their unfortunate adventures.
  2. The Amateurs, by Sara Shepard - A young adult mystery novel with some fun twists and turns. It's by the same author of the Pretty Little Liars series, and while I have never read those books, I know the author's works have a reputation for being fun to just sort of binge or fly through and that's how this book was for me. I did read a spoiler ahead of time, though... otherwise I may not have ever guessed the mystery!
  3. Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix - A re-read from when I was in Middle School... I finally finished it this time around though. And that ending was literally.... it was not what I expected, I'll just say that much about it. But in all honesty this book is such a great, action-packed read that I simply devoured!
  4. PostSecret by Frank Warren - I actually participated in my library's "Blind Date with a Book" challenge this month and the description on the wrapping paper was too intriguing for me to resist picking this up. And I'm glad I did. I read it in one sitting and while it isn't a novel, it really is a piece of art.
FEBRUARY:

  1. The Vanished Knight, by M. Gerrick - A self-published Fantasy novel that I really enjoyed. I liked the characters, and their relationships with one another. This gave me some Chronicles of Narnia vibes, but with it's own unique elements mixed in there as well. It was so much fun and was a temporary relief from the reading slump that has been plaguing me for months now!
  2. Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown - The first Dan Brown novel I've ever read. It's a thriller that had to do with some historical stuff. It was kind of scary at times just because I'm superstitious about certain things. Although fast-paced, it did take me a little while to read just because I was reading all three of these books at the same time...
  3. Gemina, by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - OH MY GOSH. I loved this book every bit as much as I loved the first book in this companion series, Illuminae. In fact... I may have liked this one more? The characters did remind me a lot of the other characters in the first book but that didn't lessen my enjoyment. Also shoutout to Marie Lu for those amazing illustrations.
TOP THREE:

So, my top three of the past two months would have to be...
  • Gemina
  • The Vanished Knight
  • Found
All of them kept me hooked and reading for so many hours on end. I loved all of the books I read in these past months however - I've been getting quite lucky so far!

Until next time, happy reading!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

February TBR | 2017

Long time no see on this blog! I've been rather busy with school and things, especially now that I have to start looking into colleges I might want to attend, and since I've started taking on more honors classes... there are both benefits and drawbacks to that...

However for my first post of 2017 I'm going to be talking about something a bit more fun, which is the books I am planning to read and/or finish in February of this year! I may have September/October/November/December/January wrap-ups coming, but honestly I didn't read that much at the end of last year due to the Reading Slump which I am still in now... sighs.

Anyways here is what I'm reading or want to read!

The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick - I'm nearly finished with this one (kind of). It's a self-published novel, but don't let that discourage you from reading it. It's a high fantasy, and the first in a series, following a girl named Callan, and lots of adventures. I'm currently readining it as an ebook and it's so much fun, plus the author's very friendly and nice.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown - I'm about 130 pages into this one and already I'm a bit "meh" on it. I'm not sure if I've solved the mystery or not already, but if so than this is just as predictable as I thought it would be... my Dad does say there is a surprising ending though so I might keep reading because of that. Also, this has 2 million ratings on Goodreads and I'd never heard of it until last week after my Dad read it... huh

Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman - A science fiction novel and companion to the bestselling novel Illuminae that came out last year (which I thoghoughly enjoyed if it hasn't been mentioned on my blog yet). It's a very big book at 650 pages long but I do love big books so hopefully this one will be more hooking than Angels & Demons is! I checked it out from the library yesterday and already am antsy to dive in.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo - Another sequel, and this time it's the finale! Six of Crows was one of my favorite books last year (read it near the end of 2016, so I probably never really mentioned it on my blog) and I was super excited to see this one in the library. I had to check it out right away. It's another big one but I'm sure if it's half as hooking as the first book, I will finish it up very quickly.

The Heir's Choice by M. Gerrick - This is the sequel to The Vanished Knight and if possible/if I have enough time, I know this will be the next ebook I start. I'm loving Callan's journey and the whole fantasy world Ms Gerrick has created, so hopefully I will continue to in this book as well!

And that is all I have planned for the month of February! I hope everyone is having a good 2017 so far and keeping up with any resolutions you may have set... also Happy Superbowl Sunday! Hehe

Until next time, happy reading!