Reading Goals for 2019

I touched upon my reading goals a little bit in my most recent post about how I’m planning on structuring my monthly TBRs, but I wanted to go further in depth.

I love setting goals for myself, and obviously my reading goals are no different. I’ve separated my goals into two categories: quantitative goals that I can keep track of, and more qualitative goals that will hopefully enhance my reading lists in the upcoming year!

Read 100 books

My goal for 2018 was to read 75 books, which I hit in around September. Right now, I’ve read 138 books so it’s safe to say I blew that goal out of the water! Continue reading “Reading Goals for 2019”

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How I’m Structuring My Monthly TBRs in 2019

🌟 T’IS THE SEASON FOR LIST MAKING!!!! 🌟

Y’all I LOVE goal setting. Like to the point where I have a 12 page google doc of my 5 year writing plan broken down by month (I’m seriously not joking 😅). I love New Year’s Resolutions, I love monthly goals, I love to-do lists, and I love reading everyone else’s goals and lists for the new year!!!

I’m going to try to calm down for the rest of this post but like, no promises 😬.

One thing I really want to do this year is be more intentional with my reading. I’m not entirely a mood reader; I don’t really DNF books but I also feel like whether or not I enjoy a book definitely depends on where I’m at in my life at that moment.

I don’t want to get too in-depth into my reading goals because I’m saving that post for next week (which now I’m thinking that might be slightly redundant but that’s a question for future Seal).

Ok anyway (my excitement for this post is making me DISTRACTED but like I’m not apologizing).

I realized this past year that structured TBRs work really well for me. I read about half of the books on my TBR, and I’m really content with that success rate. I like to use TBRs as more of a guideline and most of the time I end up reading the books I miss in the following months anyway.

Like always, I have an incredibly ambitious list so I’m just gonna slide right into it. Continue reading “How I’m Structuring My Monthly TBRs in 2019”

Review: A Deserving Diverse Formulaic Fantasy in Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)
Page Count: 525 pages
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Children of Blood and Bone review

me: i don’t read trilogies!!!!!!!
me: i don’t read fantasy!!!!!!!!

me: *takes two long months to read Children of Blood and Bone*

Here’s a brief overview of my history reading trilogies:

  • Book 1: read within the first year of it’s release, and/or immediately after the sequel is released
  • Book 2: read within the first weeks of it’s release
  • Book 3: ………………………………. 😐

I cannot even tell you how many trilogies I haven’t finished. I usually read the second book and then get distracted/bored/uninterested/etc by the time the third book comes out! The only way to I finish a series is if all the books are already published and I acquire them all in one giant sweep. (Guys I honestly think the last series I finished in real-time publication might have been Twilight.)

Anyway, the entire time reading Children of Blood and Bone, in the root of my gut I just feel that this series won’t be any different. Continue reading “Review: A Deserving Diverse Formulaic Fantasy in Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeymi”

Down the TBR Hole #33: Books 541-560

Lia from Lost in a Story’s challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

I Know What I’m Doing by Jen Kirkman
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Real Artists Have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep (physical TBR)

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep (physical TBR)

Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep (physical TBR)

Party of One by Dave Holmes
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

Lust and Wonder by Augusten Burroughs
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

First Women by Kate Andersen Brower
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep 

White Trash by Nancy Isenbery
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Blood Brothers by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
keep

Five Presidents by Clint Hill
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Layered by Tessa Huff
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove

Ruling: 13/20 removed

This was incredibly heavy with some non-fiction titles! Let me know if I made good decisions! 😅

Review: A Subtle Feminist Friendship Story in The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo

The Deepest Roots

Page Count: 320 pages
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: The Deepest Roots
content warning: sexual assault, kidnapping
representation: poor MC, black side, lesbian side

 

 


I read this book in literally 24 hours. I just could 👏 not 👏 stop 👏 reading.

The Deepest Roots reminded me on some grunge-y, cult-classic 80s teen movie, except it takes place in modern day. It explores themes of female empowerment, women supporting women, and supportive friendships. Granted, these themes may have been heavy handed, but I am here for supportive girls so I personally didn’t mind.

The Deepest Roots follows Rome and her two best friends, Lux. Like all the girls born in Cottonwood Hollow Kansas, the three girls each have  a unique gift (or curse as the three of them consider it). Lux is a Siren who can charm men with a smile, but she often can’t control it. Mercy is an Enough, which means she is able to provide Just Enough. Rome is a Fixer, and she uses her ability at the car garage where she works.  Continue reading “Review: A Subtle Feminist Friendship Story in The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo”

5 Winter Reading Recommendations

Yeeeeeeeeeee I made some new graphics!!! I’ve been slowly clamoring my way through Tidyathon by cleaning out my Goodreads shelves and got around to overhauling all of my graphics and I am SO excited!! I also spent this weekend playing around with some different themes; I’m not sure if the one I have atm is going to stay for a while but we’ll see!

The winter solstice is upon those of us in the northern hemisphere and while I feel like December 1st is really the kick-off point for all-things wintery, I am still holding on to the fall with my cold, white-knuckled fingertips.

Winter is my least favorite season because I hate being cold and I absolutely hate the snow, but I can appreciate some winter holidays like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day and other traditional winter staples: layers of blankets, peppermint anything, snow days, and of course large chunky books.

I tend to gravitate towards two types of books in the winter, either a really dense read or a light-hearted romance so this list will probably be an interesting mix!

I’ve set this post up with the book, a simplified summary from Goodreads, and a short note about the book. Cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page!

Beartown by Frederick Backman

Beartown (Beartown, #1)

People say Beartown is finished. But their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys. Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Starting off this list strong with one of the most wintery-aesthetic books I’ve read! I read this last winter and absolutely loved it. This is definitely heavier than a typical Backman novel, but it’s beautifully complex and unforgiving and written very well.

content warning: sexual assault Continue reading “5 Winter Reading Recommendations”

Down the TBR Hole #32: Books 521-540

Lia from Lost in a Story’s challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

 

Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Date added: Nov 28, 2016
remove

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Date added: Nov 28, 2016
keep (physical TBR)

A Torch Against the Night
Date added: Nov 28, 2016
remove

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Date added: Nov 28, 2016
keep (physical TBR)

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Date added: Dec 13, 2016
remove Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #32: Books 521-540”

November 2018 Wrap-Up: Was I the only one on the planet not in a reading slump??

  • Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Dreamin’ Sun vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano
  • In This Corner of the World by Fumiyo Kouno
  • I’ll Be There for You by Kelsey Miller
  • Fruits Basket Another vol. 2 by Natsuki Takaya
  • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Severance by Ling Ma
  • Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Beartown by Frederick Backman
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
  • Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro
  • Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson

  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Sweet Blue Flowers vol. 1 and 2 by Takako Shimura
  • Orange: Future by Ichigo Takano
  • Emma vol. 5, 6, and 7 by Kaoru Mori
  • Yostuba&! vol. 1, 2, 3, and 4 by Kiyohiko Azuma
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson
  • The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • Horimiya vol. 6 and 7 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
  • Kimi ni Todoke vol. 6, 7, and 8 by Karuho Shiina
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo

That’s books hauled list though… 😑

It was an accident!! All the books from Severance down were purchased at my library’s used book sale! Every November my library holds their annual book sale and it’s one of my most anticipated events of the entire year. I gave myself a budget of $40 and ended up spending only $33 on 15 books! So I can’t even be mad at myself. And it also gave me the opportunity to rearrange some of my shelves(re: the books on my floor in front of my shelf) in order to fit all of those new books! 😈 So really, was buying this many books this month a mistake? Probably. Do I regret? Not right now, at least. Maybe in like three months when I still haven’t read any of them…

Anyway, November was a MONTH. I feel like I didn’t read a single wrap-up (or watch a single wrap-up video) where someone in the book community had a good month, so clearly I’m not alone. That said, I feel like when I’m struggling reading has been my reprieve, so at least my reading month was great. (Actually this was my strongest reading month of the year by a landslide, which is unreal.) Continue reading “November 2018 Wrap-Up: Was I the only one on the planet not in a reading slump??”

NaNoWriMo Journal #3: I literally didn’t write at all but I’m okay with that!!

Hi friends, it’s ya girl Seal back with my final NaNoWriMo update of 2018!!

But 🔥 plot twist 🔥 nothing has changed since my last update!

So quick recap: I’ve been participating or attempting to participate in NaNoWriMo since high school. Looking back, I’ve won a couple with 50k words, and even if I didn’t win I still would write a solid chunk. Usually I lose steam because November is notoriously busy for like, possibly everyone.

This year specifically, I was just really behind in deciding what I was going to write. I had too many ideas and kept going back on forth on which one I was going to stick with. Ultimately, I decided to rewrite the story I wrote last year because it’s an actual trash-fire and something I would love to keep working on.

I think my first problem was that I was never excited to rewrite this idea. It felt like “the right thing to do” as in I was making a smart choice to actively better something I’ve already created instead of adding another draft to my hard drive. Whereas if I had written something I was excited about, even without any real concrete plot of characters, maybe I would’ve last a little longer.

I actually had a moment the week before Thanksgiving where I was like “screw it!!” and starting writing about 500 words towards my fanfiction instead but clearly that didn’t last long either.

Another problem was I didn’t plan out  a n y t h i n g. I’m definitely a hardcore planner, as in I have a giant spreadsheet with multiple tabs and charts and lists and random notes and without any direction in my writing it’s really hard for me to feel good about my writing if I have no idea where it’s going. That’s not to say I have everything meticulously planned out; I still tend to come up with new plot points or cover up plot holes and surprise myself while I’m writing, but I feel more secure when I sit down to write with a plan, even if it’s not followed.

I ended up writing about 1,500 words (not even a full day’s worth of recommended word count 😅). I’m not even that upset because those 1,500 aren’t even that bad and it’s actually a pretty solid beginning and I like it wayyyyy more than the beginning I originally had written last NaNoWriMo.

I could be disappointed that I didn’t even attempt to write more for NaNoWriMo, but honestly I’m not. This was a crazy month and I could barely keep up with my normal life responsibilities, let alone write almost an entire novel.

I also think this tells me a lot about my writing habits. Hopefully in the future I’ll 1) listen to my gut and work on projects that I’m excited about because as an unpublished writer I have a luxury of having no deadlines~ and 2) spend more time planning out my story before dedicating myself to a project.

Hopefully y’all had a successful NaNoWrimo if you participated, whatever your version of success may be!

 

Down the TBR Hole #31: Books 501-520

Lia from Lost in a Story’s challenge “Down the TBR Hole” has helped me whittle down my massive virtual TBR, or at least get me thinking critically about what books I’m actually going to read. I’ve realized I’ve added a lot of books in 2012 and 2013 that I’ve never read and will probably never get around to reading!! There’s also a ton of books that I added in the moment that I’ve never even thought of since then.

“Down the TBR Hole” works like this: order your Goodreads “to be read” shelf with the oldest books first and remove the ones you’re no longer interested in reading. I’ve added in two of my own personal rules: if I have multiple books in a series I’ll only keep the next (or first) one I have to read, and I’ll remove complete works or collections (unless it’s a collection I already own).

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
Date added: Sept 24, 2016
remove

Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming
Date added: Sept 25, 2016
remove

Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christine Watson
Date added: Sept 25, 2016
remove

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
Date added: Oct 14, 2016
remove

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Date added: Oct 14, 2016
keep Continue reading “Down the TBR Hole #31: Books 501-520”