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Wrap-Up: November 2018

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor(★★★★☆)
  • These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas (★★★☆☆)
  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (★★★★☆)
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (★★★★☆)
  • Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (★★★★☆)
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (★★★★★)

MONTHLY TOTAL: 6
YEARLY SO FAR: 86

A solid month with mostly unexpected reads! I hadn’t at all anticipated on reading so much romance/women’s fiction this month. What happened was, I had a sort of half-dream about a contemporary romance story and I started writing it with fervor, and that made me want to read other romance books to get a feel for the flow of the narrative, since I’ve never read romance before. I had a good time! I also finally got around to Laini Taylor’s latest, which makes me want to read her backlist now!

I’m not sure why my reading seems to be slowing down quite a lot…perhaps it’s because of the holidays. I had a solid five days off this month where I did absolutely no reading (instead I binged The Office for like the fourth time).

I am currently reading:

Sawkill Girls is so freaking good so far!!! It’s so much creepier than I had anticipated. I love reading good old-fashioned horror. Vampire Academy isn’t bad or anything, but I’m not finding it as compelling as I had hoped…then again I’m only like 10% into it. I think I just might not be in the right mood. I was totally in the mood for vampires at the start of the month but then I had that romance story dream and my mood shifted, so who knows.

The fact that Sawkill Girls is so good makes me think I’ll pick up Furyborn sooner than I had thought! But before that, I’ll probably get to Vengeful, and then Damsel, and then maybe, hopefully, The Girl in the Tower? I’ve had it on my Kindle for ages. I also had kind of wanted to read at least one non-fiction book because it’s been ages since I read non-fiction, but winter is such a cozy month that I want cozy, seasonal reads, not non-fiction, so I’m not sure if that will happen. Also being considered are The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater and my re-read of The Traitor Baru Cormorant, but these are both very tentative. I might push both to January.

Mini Life Update: 

Because of some fortuitous evens, I am all set to graduate library school by the end of Spring 2019 rather than Summer 2019. That means just one more semester and I can drop two of the four classes I was signed up for! Before I can get to all that, though, I have to get through this semester – I have so many papers and assignments piling on that I need to get to but have been steadfastly ignoring.

Mini TV Update: 

I watched Thirteen starring Jodie Cromer, which was the perfect short thriller series. I’ve also been catching up on season 13 of Supernatural, which, while frustrating in many ways, is still really enjoyable. I’m such trash for this show. Like, I fully acknowledge that it should probably end, but I’ll likely be devastated when it does. I’ve also been enjoying Hasan Minaj’s Patriot Act because it’s freaking hilarious. And I’ve also been rewatching random episodes of The Office.

Otherwise, things have been quiet. I’m very much looking forward to next month both here and on BookTube; I love seeing everyone’s end-of-year lists!

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End of the Year Book Tag

end of year book tag

I decided to do this tag because, upon browsing my blog, I realized that I did this very same tag last year on November 26th! I had been looking for a quick and easy tag that I could do, so this seemed appropriate.

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I mean, it’s only November so of course I’m still reading books, but I don’t have any backlogs. I’ve gotten better about DNFing books this year!

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Hmm, for some reason, I’ve been craving fantasy lately? So I’ve been seeking out various fantasy subgenres, in particular high fantasy and vampire lit. Winter is probably a good time for horror or cozy historical fiction, but I read so much historical fiction in October that I think I need a break from it (the exception being The Dark Days Deceit, which should hopefully arrive in the mail soon!). I also really want to read Katherine Arden’s The Girl in the Tower, but I don’t know if I’ll get to it by the end of the year.

3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

This year? Nope!

4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Last week’s Top 5 Wednesday was all about the books I want to finish reading by the end of the year. If I had to prioritize books off that list, I would say Muse of Nightmares and Vengeful, because I’m very wary of spoilers and also these are sequels, so I would like to read them before I forget pertinent details!

5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Hmm, I doubt it. I think I’ve already got all my faves lined up.

6. Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Yes! I want to read more varied high fantasy, so I’m vaguely making a plan to seek out and request more books of that nature. I also want to read more nonfiction! I barely read any this year; I’m not quite sure why. I used to read a ton of nonfiction but ever since I started blogging I’ve been avoiding it for some reason. I have more reading goals, but I’ll probably make another post with all my reading resolutions for 2019!

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Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Read Before 2019

top 5 wednesday

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

November 14th: Books to Read Before 2019
Our Goodreads goals are quickly closing in. What are you prioritizing for the end of the year?

I recently went on a mini-spree at my library and requested a whole bunch of books, so, by necessity, I will need to read those by the end of the year, but they also happen to be books that I really want to read! Also, I happened to request six books, so you get a bonus book here.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor — I just finished reading the first book in this series and would like to get the sequel before the end of the year for two reasons. First, I really liked the book and am eager to see what happens next. Second, my memory is awful and I will forget everything if I wait any longer.

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold — I have heard so many conflicting things about this book, but the general consensus seems to be that it is surprisingly dark and adult for a YA book. Because I am morbid and macabre, I will always be drawn to books with dark central themes. I really want to know what everyone is talking about!

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab — So, again, I just read the first book and I will forget if I don’t get to this right away! Plus this is one of those books where it’s just everywhere and it’s difficult to avoid spoilers and I want to be in on what everyone is talking about.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory — So, the other night I had a weird dream-revelation where I got this idea for a contemporary romance novel. When I woke up that following morning, I had a really intense desire to read some romance to get a sense of how those types of novels are structured. I have heard excellent things about this one, and it perfectly suits my needs, plot-wise.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand — I really want to read something by this author and this seems like it’ll be right up my alley. I’ve heard reviews that say it’s dark and intense and feminist, which sounds great.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker — This surprisingly short novel has been on my TBR for a long time now, and so many friends and reviewers have read it and loved it that I really want to get to it before the end of the year. I’m not sure if I will, since the library queue is rather long for this book, but here’s hoping.

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Top 5 Wednesday: Longest Books on TBR

top 5 wednesday

Top Five Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Check out the goodreads group to learn more.

November 7th: Largest Books on TBR
In honor of #TomeToppleReadathon coming back this month, discuss those big books on your shelf!

I’ve decided to break this up into two parts, those parts being: Classics and Not Classics. I have a lot of classics on my TBR and most of them are ridiculously long, and are probably the longest books on my TBR, but I don’t want them to completely overshadow this post. I want to talk about ordinary books that are also super long! So, I’ll talk about lengthy classics first, and then lengthy not-classics (that I’m prioritizing) second. I’m also choosing not to include the non-fiction books on my list, because I feel like that could be a whole other topic entirely!

Classics

Clarissa, or The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson (1534 pages): An epistolary novel detailing the exploits of a young woman who who loses her virtue by running off with an untrustworthy rake who won’t marry her. I’m not generally a huge fan of epistolary novels, which makes this even more intimidating.

The Mysteries of London by George W.M. Reynolds (1176 pages): Originally published as a series of “penny dreadfuls,” these vignettes detail life in Victorian London for the impoverished. It’s a sprawling tale. I will get to this at some point, or at least skim through it, given my interest in Victorian London, but yeah, it’s pretty terrifying.

Cecilia by Fanny Burney (1056 pages): Published in 1782, this is described as a “unusual love story and deft social satire” about a woman who can only keep her fortune if her husband takes her name. Aside from the length, I’m hesitant to read something published in the 18th century; I’m sure the language will be a bit of a struggle.

Middlemarch by George Eliot (904 pages): I have literally no idea what this is about even after reading the Goodreads summary like three times. Something to do with the effects of the 1832 Reform Bill on English society? I’ve never read anything by Eliot before, and I the plot (or what I can glean of it) honestly doesn’t appeal to me a ton, so I’m afraid this will bore me.

Vanity Fair by William Thackeray (883 pages): A tale of two women, one ruthless and determined to claw her way up the societal ladder, the other a romantic who longs only for love. All I know is that Becky Sharp, aforementioned ruthless lady, is supposed to be iconic, so I’m looking forward to that, at least!

Not Classics

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (1007 pages): First in The Stormlight Archive series, very popular, and I have no idea what it’s about! I’ll get to it at some point, but the series promises to be ten books long and only three are out, which makes me hesitant, given my shoddy memory. I don’t want to have to re-read the first three books when the fourth comes out! But I’m also really tempted because I do like Brandon Sanderson’s work.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (848 pages): This book hasn’t even come out yet but I’m so excited for it. It’s about dragons and queens and women and promises to be a rich, sprawling fantasy. Also, that cover is just fucking magnificent.

In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif (816 pages): The Goodreads summary describes this as a story about “a woman who grows up among the Egyptian elite, marries a Westernized husband, and, while pursuing graduate study, becomes embroiled in a love affair with an uncouth Englishman.” Frankly, I’m more interested in the author, an Egyptian woman educated in Egypt and England. I feel like I almost never see English-language Egyptian fiction about Egyptian women; this would certainly be my first! This author’s other book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and I’ve heard excellent things; I think I will love this book, once I get around to reading it.

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman  by Theodora Goss (720 pages): This is a sequel, and one I’ve heard is good but too long, which makes me a bit reluctant to pick it up, as I enjoyed the first book quite a bit but didn’t fall in love with it. The summary sounds fantastic: “Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.” As the first book was more of an introduction to everyone, this one might go more smoothly and be more compelling.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (676 pages): This book made a huge splash when it was published, but I rarely see anyone discussing it now! I believe it has to do with Dracula, and vampires in general, and a researcher (a historian?) investigating her family’s history. Frankly it sounds amazing, though I’ve heard conflicting opinions about it, which is what’s intimidating me. I hope to get to it soon, however, because I’ve been seeking out vampire fiction!

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (666 pages): What makes this book intimidating is that it is the first in a ten-book series. I’ve had the Malazan books on my TBR for years and years, and even though all the books are published, it would take a lot of dedication to embark on this read. Plus I’ve heard that this is the type of fantasy that just tosses you in the deep end, shrugs, and hopes you can swim, so it’s definitely intimidating on multiple fronts.