April TBR, Books Clubs, and ARCs

How is it already time to come up with APRIL’s TBR???

Honestly, I’ve been struggling with keeping up with my TBRs for the last two months. January was pretty solid, but February and March showed some weak progress. It’s not so much that I’ve been diverging from my TBRs, but more that I just haven’t been reading as much. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been busy, or because I haven’t been excited about the books I’m choosing or what…

I’m giving it this last month to see how following a highly structured TBR works for me, before considering revamping my current routine. I am purposely not joining any readathons this month however, because I haven’t been participating in them and I’m going to scale back and only participate in ones that I’m truly excited about.

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!

TBR Jar:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.Β Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringerβ€”a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

This is my last Bardugo book left to read and I’ve been putting it off because I’m honestly not sure if I’m going to like it. I’m not a big superhero fan (I have only seen the ending of WonderWoman because it was on tv 😐) and I only bought it because I was feeling Six of Crows withdrawals and wrongly thought this would cure it. I am excited to try this out and who knows maybe it will spark a new obsession! This is also a signed copy so I wasΒ definitelyΒ be reading this because I will not want to give it away first! Continue reading “April TBR, Books Clubs, and ARCs”

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March Book Birthdays: 16 Anticipated Releases This Month

Happy March!!! 🌻 Spring is only 20 days away!!!!!!

There are so many great things happening this month; I’m going on three (!) business trips (renting cars with a business account makes me feel SO grown up lemme tell ya), I’m going to the beach (it will be cold, but it’s still the ~beach~), I’m celebrating my birthday (I am old 😭), and SO MANY GREAT BOOKS COME OUT!! (that I can’t afford because I am broke!!)

This is structured a little differently from my January book birthdays post. For my first post, I really wanted to focus on fewer books so I could provide summaries. Ultimately, it was difficult to narrow down only a select amount of books, and when I sat down to write a post for February I kept procrastinating it because I didn’t know which books to pick and I just ultimately never posted it because I felt like it was no longer relevant (which was honestly dumb on my part because why would it no longer be relevant…? idk).

Instead, I’d like to include just a brief sampling with a larger selection of books. I still ended up weeding out a few I was like “cool” over but not “omg I NEED this” over you feel 😎

Anyway, I have a $20 Barnes and Noble gift card and about $400 worth of books on this list so either I’m going to burn a hole through my library card this month orrrr maybe I’ll just starve? (seriously though how do people afford to pay rent AND eat at the same time is there some kind of cheat code I am missing?)

I’ve set up this book with the title, author, and cover, along with the age range, genre, vague location and time period (when applicable) and approximate page count. Cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page!

Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Adult
Historical Fiction (USA, 1960s)
368 pages

 

GingerbreadGingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
Adult
Magical Realism (England)
272 pages

 

The Island of Sea WomenThe Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
Adult
Historical Fiction (Korea, 1930s-present day)
384 pages Continue reading “March Book Birthdays: 16 Anticipated Releases This Month”

Year of the Asian Reading Challenge and TBR

You know me, always late to every party πŸ’

I’ve entered the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge! For some reason it’s just taken me ages to write this post (just kidding, the reason is I started a new job and I’m still trying to adjust to a new schedule), but I’ve been meaning to sign up for the challenge since it was announced!

I’m sure everyone has already heard about it, but the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge (#YARC) is a yearly challenge encouraging you to read more books by Asian authors. There are four co-hosts, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, CW @ The Quiet Pond, Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, and Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads.

I’m committing to reading 21 to 30 books by Asian authors this year, meaning I’m at the Malayan tapir level. Ideally, I’d like to try to read at least two books a month, putting me at 24 books for the year. If I end up hitting 30 books before the year is over I’ll keep increasing my goal into the next increments until the year is over.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to count any manga I read this year because I already read a ton of manga and I’d like to try to use this as a challenge. I also already own a ton of unread books by Asian authors so I’m going to take this opportunity to read some of the backlist books that have been on my TBR for a while!

I’ve already read 6 books so far (from January through mid-February) so I’ve been doing pretty well so far! I’ve made a list of 21 books by Asian authors that I own that is going to act as a tentative TBR for the rest of the year. This list is ordered from oldest books on my TBR to the most recent additions.

  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Light on Yoga by B. K. S. Iyengar
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  • The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • Flame in the Mist be RenΓ©e Ahdieh
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  • Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
  • The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand by Makoto Inoue
  • Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Have you joined the challenge? What books on your TBR are you most looking forward to reading?

Most Surprising Reads of 2018

I had so many “Best of 2018!” posts planned but life got in the way and I didn’t have time to write them promptly, and when I found the time I was so burnt out from the reading the same post over and over again that I just didn’t want to add my own two-sense in the already overflowing pot.

I read a lot of really great books this year, but I also read a lot of books that completely surprised me. Some of my favorite books of the year are on this list, but some are not. These books are either 4 or 5 star reviews!

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! Ratings are either linked to reviews posted to this blog or to Goodreads.

The DivinersΒ series by Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York Cityβ€”and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will, and Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.Β As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps and, unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

I feel like might be the last person on the planet to read The DivinersΒ and I only started reading it because I heard the audiobooks were amazing. I was pretty hesitant to read this series because it contains a bunch of elements of things I generally don’t like (paranormal, fantasy, incomplete series, etc) but it’s become one of my favorite series, especially as I continued reading them.

Ratings and reviews: The Diviners: 3 stars | Lair of Dreams: 4 stars |Β Before the Devil Breaks You: 5 stars Continue reading “Most Surprising Reads of 2018”

December in Review: 15 Books

HAPPY NEW YEARΒ πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Β New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays, but before I get into my 2018 favorites, reviews, and wrap-ups, I can’t ignore December as a whole month!

I had some fantastic reads this month, and also a few disappointments. The large majority of my books this month were 4 and 5 star reads!

Different from my monthly wrap-ups, which focus more of patterns in my reading habits and is just me rambling on forever (because that’s my brand), monthly reviews are more like lists: easy to scroll through to get the whole picture of my reading month. Listed is the title, author, publication date, and cover along with the genre and age range (if applicable). I also have my rating and a three-word description of my reading experience! The links will either go to a longer review I wrote on this blog or a shorter review I wrote on Goodreads. All the cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page.

TOTAL BOOKS: 15

🌟: 0
🌟🌟: 2
🌟🌟🌟: 1
🌟🌟🌟🌟: 8
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟: 4

 

Fake BloodFake Blood by Whitney Gardner
Published: Sept 4, 2018
MG Paranormal
hilarious, satirical, realistic
🌟🌟🌟🌟

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of OrΓ―sha, #1)Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Published: Mar 6, 2018
YA Fantasy
bingeable, dynamic, intense
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Published: May 2, 2017
History
repetitive, feminist, digestable
🌟🌟🌟

 

Into the WaterInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published: May 2, 2017
Mystery
confusing, underwhelming, blah
🌟🌟

 

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's AngerGood and Mad by Rebecca Traister
Published: Oct 2, 2018
Feminist Theory
powerful, fierce, phenomenal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Love WorksLove Works by Janice Mirikitani
Published: Jan 1, 2003
Poetry
stunning, emotional, historical
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for WhitenessI’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
Published: May 15, 2018
Memoir
transforming, digestable, personal
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Exit WestExit West by Mohsin Hamid
Published: Mar 7, 2017
Magical Realism
condense, evocative, timeless
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

CirceCirce by Madeline Miller
Published: Apr 10, 2018
Fantasy
lyrical, complex, engaging
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Published: Sep 24, 2001
Contemporary
lengthy, overwhelming, extra
🌟🌟

 

Horimiya, Vol. 8Horimiya vol. 8 by Hero and Daisuke Hagiwara
Published: Jul 18, 2017
YA Romance
cute, fluffy, charming
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

GeorgeGeorge by Alex Gino
Published: Aug 25, 2015
MG Contemporary
simple, accessible, relevant
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published: Dec 19, 1843
Holiday Classic
uplifting, atmospheric, descriptive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Sister Outsider by Audre LordeSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Published: Jun 1, 1984
Essays
academic, intersectional, critical
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Published: Jan 2, 2018
YA Fantasy
disturbing, surprising, addictive
🌟🌟🌟🌟

I read some surprisingly great books this month and thoroughly enjoyed most of them. Let me know if you’ve read any of these because I’d love to talk about them? Which books were your favorites for December?

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 jokingΒ πŸ˜…). I love New Year’s Resolutions, I love monthly goals, I love to-do lists, and I loveΒ 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”

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 TΓ©a Obreht
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n
  • 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… πŸ˜‘

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??”

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018 Predictions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Goodreads Choice Awards!!!!!!!

Seriously I LIVE for these awards and I cannot wait to see the results!

I thought it would be fun (for me, and maybe for you who knows!!) to make a list of my winning predictions and see if I’m right! Originally I was going to wait to write/post this until after the winners were announced but then how would people know if I was being honest or not?? I mean, as a lifetime (professional) Girl Scout I know that I am honest and fair but still.

So I’m posting this now, before voting ends and the results are announced. I might go back and update this later with the winners, or I might make a short follow-up post. We’ll see! I’m kind of winging this whole thing (aka this post is a Hot Mess).

Side-note: My own personal philosophy is that I feel weird voting for books I haven’t read. Therefore, there are some (actually quite a few) categories that I didn’t vote in at all; this may be because the books I’ve read didn’t make it into the final round, or because I just didn’t read any book from that category!! (The Goodreads Choice Awards are also a rude awakening for just how many new releases I buy but never read!!)

I’ve organized this post by category in order of how they appear on Goodreads, with my original and current vote, along with my prediction and a brief note.

Fiction:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Prediction: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

This category honestly could’ve been anything. I was close to picking Hank Green’s novel, but since it just came out a few months ago, I figured that many people hadn’t read it.

 

Mystery & Thriller:

Original Vote: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton

Prediction: The President is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson

For this section I went off gut instinct based on the popularity of the authors. Stephen King could be another potential winner, but I feel like this book got a ton of hype.

 

Historical Fiction:

Current Vote: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Prediction: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The first book I actually voted for in the final round!! Not to toot my own horn, but I do believe this book will win. Kristin Hannah got a ton of hype surroundingΒ The Nightingale and I think this carried over to this book as well. Continue reading “Goodreads Choice Awards 2018 Predictions”

September 2018 in Review

I read so many great books this month that it was hard to remember them all!

Coming out of a slow reading summer, I definitely had to catch up on a lot of my manga series and audiobooks that I’d cast aside. I didn’t realize how heavily my reading habits relied on audiobooks until I didn’t have access them!

I felt like September was a pretty well-rounded reading month for me; I had quite a bit of books that were published in 2018, as well as books that were published earlier. I had a wide range of genres and authors as well.

Different from my monthly wrap-ups, which focus more of patterns in my reading habits and is just me rambling on forever (because that’s my brand), monthly reviews are more like lists: easy to scroll through to get the whole picture of my reading month. Listed is the title, author, publication date, and cover along with the genre and age range (if applicable). I also have my rating and a three-word description of my reading experience! The links will either go to a longer review I wrote on this blog or a shorter review I wrote on Goodreads. All the cover photos are linked to their Goodreads page.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy

Lumberjanes vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen
Published: Apr 7, 2015
YA Fantasy
wild, feminist, creative
🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

SunburnSunburn by Laura Lippman (ARC)
Published: Feb 20, 2018
Mystery
disappointing, thoughtful, noir
🌟🌟

 

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 4Kimi ni Todoke vol 4 by Karuho Shiina
Published: May 4, 2010
YA Romance
soft, slow, subtle
🌟🌟🌟 Continue reading “September 2018 in Review”

Summer 2018 Reading Wrap-Up: my (hopefully!!) largest haul of the year

June (& BookCon!!)
  • Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk (ARC)
  • When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. SΓ‘nchez
  • Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi
  • Check Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (ARC)
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  • Christmas by Accident by Camron Wright (ARC)
  • Dear Ijewale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown
  • And Then There Were Crows by Alcy Leyva (ARC)
  • Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki and Brooke Allen
  • Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  • Pop Sonnets by Erik Didriksen
  • The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood
  • The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
  • The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
  • Nothing Happened by Molly Booth
  • Dear Life by Alice Munro
July
  • The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi
  • The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye (ARC)
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans (ARC)
  • 30 Before 30 by Marina Shifrin (ARC)
August
  • The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles
  • To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin (ARC)
  • Fruits Basket Another vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

June
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
  • Emma vol. 2 by Kaoru Mori
  • Check Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (ARC)
  • Dreams of Falling by Karen White (ARC)
  • The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
  • Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki
  • Kimi ni Todoke vol. 3 by Karuho Shiina
July
  • Paper Girls vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd (ARC)
August
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. SΓ‘nchez
  • Camp Rolling Hills: Freefall by Stacy Davidowitz
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  • Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk (ARC)
  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Continue reading “Summer 2018 Reading Wrap-Up: my (hopefully!!) largest haul of the year”