The Stuck at Home Book Tag

Sadly…this tag is still relevant.

I saw the Stuck at Home Book Tag, created by Ellyn, on Bookishly Rebecca’s blog. I’m slowly going nuts from not being able to go to work. Since I have nothing else to do without homework, I basically had to force myself to get my head together. Hopefully, you guys will be seeing more content from me in the coming weeks.

To the tag!

 

What are you currently reading?

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)

With all the library books I still have checked out, it took me a hot minute to pick my next read. But I finally settled on Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. And, after only 36 pages, I’m glad I did.

 

What’s your favorite “can’t-leave-the-house” activity?

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Besides reading, my favorite at-home activity is watching Netflix or YouTube. Since the 4th season of Thirteen Reasons Why is airing in the first week of June, I’m finally getting back into the show after stopping in the middle of the third season because of school. Another at-home activity I enjoy doing is blogging. Getting back into writing has been so nice.

 

A book you’ve been meaning to read for forever.

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Thing is, I don’t have a book for this question. I have a bad habit of putting off books, whether because I like to deny myself things or I’m distracted by new, shiner ones, or a combination of the two. A few books I have been meaning to read for so long are:

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Tower of Dawn and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

 

A intimidating book on your TBR

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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, a recent addition to my owned-books to be read pile. It’s 517 pages, except the size doesn’t intimidate me. It’s the fact that I’m worried how it could compare to The Hunger Games trilogy.

 

Top 3 priority books on your TBR

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I have over 80 books on my priority to be read pile…but to name a few:

Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popovic

 

Recommend a short book

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A short book that I enjoyed but rarely mention on my blog is Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. It’s a great, quick read that feels like a slap in the face.

 

Recommend a long book

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One of my favorite long books is The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova, which an intense historical art mystery with beautiful writing.

 

Something you’d love to do while stuck at home

Things I want to do more of while stuck at home are go for walks and work out on the rowing machine in the basement. Instead, I sit on the couch and drink coffee in the morning, then proceed to sit on my computer or doing anything else that does not involve physical activity.

 

What do you plan on reading next?

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After I read Aurora Burning, I’m going to move on to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Normally, I would wait for the hype to die down. Only this time, I’m making an exception.

 

What have you been doing during quarantine? 

Small May 2020 Wrap Up

I’m preaching to the choir, but I really want this quarantine to be over.

I was slapped in the face by a reading slump in May. The first week and a half I deliberately took off from reading to focus on my final projects and finish grad school on a high note. Naturally, once I had the time to read, I wanted to do anything but.

At first, I rode out the slump, just like I always do. Except that got boring fast. Right now, I’m in the process of applying for jobs, while asking myself “why bother?” when libraries are still closed and places will be focused on bringing back their original workers over new hires. It was hard to stay focused on any other activity I tried—blogging, watching YouTube, Netflix, etc.

Near the middle of the month, I decided to try rereading old favorites, something I don’t do often when in a reading slump. Though I managed to read only three books this month, I’m slowly getting back into the groove of reading. Which means I’m getting excited about the pile of books on my desk instead of outright ignoring it. I just can’t pick a book to read yet.

It’s a start.

The books I read in May of 2020 were:

 

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (library book)

4 stars

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The Indigo Spell is the third book in the Bloodlines series and, I’m sorry to say, might be the reason I fell into a reading slump. This book was weak compared to the first two. The same thing that happened with the Vampire Academy series; first two books were very good, then everything and nothing seemed to happen in books three and four.

The Indigo Spell seemed to focus more on the romantic drama between Adrian and Sydney than trying to figure out the Alchemist’s secrets or finding out who was killing local witches. While I understand the message of “take a chance,” did certain Moroi really think the Alchemists would not do anything to Sydney if she and Adrian took their relationship out in the open? I haven’t read The Fiery Heart yet, but I can already guess that is what’s going to happen. Regardless, The Indigo Spell was still fun with the little mystery surrounding the soul-sucking witch and what little there was to expose the Alchemists’ secrets.

 

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (reread)

4.5 stars

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The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was one of my all-time favorite books that I read back in 2015. I thought if there was any book to get me out of a reading slump, it would be this book. It worked, but I got more than what I bargained for.

To be frank, part of my reason for lowering my rating of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is related to the Facebook TV adaption from over a year ago. Unlike the book, all the characters besides Minnow, Angel, and Jude were more fleshed out. Dr. Wilson was given more complexity and you could see how Minnow changed him as both a psychiatrist and a person. We got more of the Prophet’s backstory, making him a more humanized villain. The ending of the TV adaption was more hopeful and complete, rather than open-ended like the book.

Back in 2015, I was on a serious reading streak that summer and prior to reading The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, I had never read a fictional novel about cults. I had high expectations going in, and I let those expectations influence my reading. While going from 5 stars to 4.5 stars seems like a harsh rating, it’s not. This book still provides good insights to society young adult readers should think about. Like deciding what they want to believe for themselves, and not let such decisions be influenced by the respective environments they grew up in. Nothing is quite black and white, including people. The book also did not shy away from the harsh reality of juvenile detention and how the justice system is not always fair to individuals of certain populations.

Lastly is a small nitpick I didn’t notice back in 2015. There was a lot of run-on sentences. Minnow also had a big vocabulary for someone that just started learning how to read. Plus, some characters seemed a little too philosophical, to a point where I thought, “No one talks like that.” Made me wonder if the author was a John Green fan….

But if you want to know: yes, I still recommend The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes.

 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (reread)

5 stars

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I first read A Monster Calls in January 2016. When I read it before, I gave it 4.5 stars. I don’t think I was as impressed or I read it too fast to get anything out of it. But given everything I went through since the previous read, I decided to see if I felt the same as I did before.

Since I stayed up until 1am to finish A Monster Calls and cried the whole time, you can say I feel differently about this book than I did four years ago. Because I understood the anger, hope, and other conflicting feelings Conor experienced, even though I was much older than him when I went through it. The painful part of finally acknowledging those feelings and accepting it does not make you a bad person. That’s only your brain telling you those feelings are wrong. Not to mention the intentional or unintentional self-isolation, thinking no one could possibly understand what you’re going through. Most people don’t, even if they mean well, but it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Other people might also not want to talk about it, because they do not want to lose hope or scare the person they care for. And these types of situations bring out the dark, vulnerable side of people that they try to keep hidden otherwise.

Needless to say, I loved A Monster Calls this time around.

 

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I won’t be posting a TBR for the month of June. Right now, I want to reread books, read the rest of the library books I still have, and start reading books I own in equal measure. I’m just going with my “mood” at this point. Maybe not being such a complete control freak with my reading will help get out of this slump I can’t seem to feel like I’m fully out of yet.

So, June 2020 will be a surprise. Who knows what I will be reading?

 

What’s a book you reread that had a different impact on you than it did the first time you read it?

 

What Do You Do When You’re in a Reading Slump? A Discussion Post

We all know that feeling—you want to read, but you can’t decide what you want to read next or nothing you pick up is holding your attention for long. Or—GASP!—you just don’t feel like reading.

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I am currently in a reading slump. It has been going on for the entire month of May. The first week was entirely focused on finishing graduate school. I didn’t want to read, mostly to stay focused on my deadlines. Also, frankly, I just did not feel like reading. It required more brain power than I had to give. Plus, there was a book I felt like caused the slump and none of my library books were holding my interest anymore.

When I am in a reading slump, I usually ride it out until I feel the urge to read again. Going a few days without reading is normal, to prevent myself from burning out. If I go for longer than a week, then I consider myself in a reading slump.

In my experience over the past couple of years, I usually get them twice a year. The first one is at the beginning of the summer, either in May or June. It is mostly because I have no idea what to do with all the sudden free time on my hands. The next reading slump happens in December. This is because I basically lose interest in every single book on my TBR as I become irrationally overwhelmed with all the books I want to read before the end of the year.

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Like I said, when I get stuck in a reading slump, I don’t force it. There’s a greater chance of me not liking a book I otherwise might have enjoyed. So, instead of reading, I do other things.

First, I watch TV shows on Netflix or movies on Disney +. Right now, I’m watching old episodes of Criminal Minds. I’ve watched Hotel Transylvania 3 at least four times already. I want to get back into Season 3 of Thirteen Reasons Why, which I was in the middle of when the new school year started. Now that I know Season 4 is coming out in June, I’ll wait to finish the season so I can binge. I also have a watchlist on Disney + of old Disney movies I want to watch, like The Black Cauldron, The Sword in the Stone, and Pinocchio. Not to mention the three re-watches of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

And, before anyone asks, we just finished The Tiger King Netflix miniseries. It was…fine.

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Another thing I do when I’m in a reading slump is I organize my TBR pile. Trying to get myself excited for reading again, I make lists of books still on my TBR. I arrange them by priority and my excitement level. This method is working right now, actually. Organizing all the books I want to read next in 2020 gives me something else to think about. Besides the quarantine and that libraries are still closed, so I can’t put my Master’s to use.

Next, when I’m in a reading slump, I attempt to work more on my blog. Right now, I have a backlog of ideas I meant to work on. Of course, since I am not reading as much, I can’t do the book reviews or recommendations I want. This is when I really have to get creative. I usually turn to BookTube, which both sparks my desire to read again as well as gives me a burst of ideas for creative content.

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When I finally feel like I want to get out of the reading slump, nine times out of ten, I will go to the library first. Most of the time I’m in a reading slump, I lose interest in the books I have at home. Instead, I go to the library and borrow a bunch of books. I read whatever I can get around to in between check out and renewal. Or, such as my current situation, I flat out lose interest in them, wanting to read my own books again.

From there, I pick a book off my TBR that I know I can get through quickly, like a graphic novel. Another type of book I might reach for is one low on my TBR pile, one I have minimal expectations going into, so there is no risk of me being disappointed by anything. I kill two birds with one stone: get out of my reading slump and take a book off my TBR that has gone unread for too long.

While this is my usual method, I’m trying something I don’t do very often. I’ve heard people rereading old favorites to get back into reading. I tried this at the start of 2020, rereading a book after a deep reading slump at the end of the previous year. It helped other times I felt a funk in my reading. Rereading books is something I want to do more of in general. I grabbed a whole bunch of my favorite books from over the past few years to reread until I feel like getting back to my regularly scheduled TBR pile.

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I don’t miss school. But in case you could not already tell, this quarantine is slowly driving me to insanity.

Thank God for books.

 

What do you do when you’re in a reading slump?

My Reading Plans for the Rest of 2020

I’m posting this here, so I can hold myself accountable. I want to stick to this plan.

At the end of May, I will officially be unemployed. When this COVID-19 quarantine began, my place of work (which happened to be a university) made it clear that people in my position may or may not have a job after May 28th. I will still be getting paid until then, but after that, it will be a while before I see another paycheck. Especially if businesses are not up and running again.

Even though I will officially have my Master’s in Library and Information Science, that doesn’t mean I will find a job immediately. Plus, my exuberant book haul from April showed me a cold reality: I do not have a lot of room left on my bookshelves.

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Does that mean I’m going on another book buying ban? No, not necessarily. If anything, I am cutting back on book-buying and focusing on reading books I already own.

I typed up and printed out my reading list of priority TBR books. These are books I’ve owned far too long unread—series I started but never finished, completed series I have not started, and other books I was very excited for when I bought them. Once I’m done with all my library books, I’ll move right on to those books.

I want to get started on my priority books right now. Only I also still want to read all the library books I checked out prior to the quarantine. This is the first time where I have the opportunity to read the insane amount of books I borrowed in the first place.

Speaking of library books, I plan on cutting back on those as well for the rest of 2020. The longer I am unemployed, the chances are I will feel the need to get out of my house and the only place I would want to go is the local library. Except I want to not visit the library so much with all those unread books at home, but I know myself too much at this point to say that won’t happen.

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As for buying books, the only ones I am bringing in are what I get through Book of the Month. Under the rules of their subscription, I can pick up to three a month (the monthly selection plus two add-ons). Reasonable enough—I’m getting my fix while maintaining a budget for new books.

After my May pre-orders come in, the goal is to not buy any other books besides my selections for Book of the Month. Ideally, I’d like to keep it up until December and then blow all my Christmas and birthday money on books I want. But if I make it to at least September (and I have a full-time job), I will be happy.

At this point in time, I’m going back and forth between doing a post on my monthly selections from Book of the Month, or including them in the monthly wrap-up. I don’t want to prioritize new books over old ones, but I’d hate to leave my Book of the Month selections unread and unrated. Since they are the only books I am buying at the moment, it seems only right that I should just read them now rather than put them aside. It doesn’t help that Book of the Month app tempts you with a yearly challenge of their own.

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Apparently I have developed this new competitive streak with my reading. A few weeks ago, I increased my Goodreads reading goal to 80 books. By March, I had already beat my original goal of 50 books in 2020. Three weeks into the quarantine, I was not reading as much as I wanted to. The library books piled on my desk were a constant reminder that I was ignoring my primary method of self-care. I thought raising my goal on Goodreads would motivate me to pick up a book instead of watching YouTube videos or binging old Criminal Minds episodes on Netflix. It has, but still not as much as I wanted.

That’s why I plan to take full advantage of the free time I will have until the world turns itself right side up again. Reading and writing will be much more fun now that it’s not for school anymore. I want to take a hammer to my priority TBR. Possibly part of that priority TBR will be my Book of the Month selections; if they are the only books I buy, it seems I read them before they gather dust. We will see if that changes in a few months, particularly if I think I need to unsubscribe for the sake of money. (Even though Book of the Month is cheaper than most book subscription services.)

If you’re curious, here are some of the books I marked “priority” on my to be read pile:

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The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, and The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee

Escaping from Houdini and Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

Lord of Shadows and Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Now I Rise and Bright We Burn by Kiersten White

 

Unemployed and stuck at home, I am so, so tempted to see if I can make it to 100 books read. But I’m not going to test my luck.

At least, not yet.

Stay at Home Book Tag

Is this basically the same concept as the book tag I did a few days ago?

Yes, yes it is.

Do I like it as much as the other tag?

Yes, yes I do.

Is this tag still as relevant as the previous one?

Yes, yes it is.

Do I need a distraction?

Absolutely.

I saw this book tag on Bookables YouTube channel. She always apologizes for doing tags, but I don’t know why. Book tags are fun to read, watch, and write.

In other words, you’re in the wrong place if this isn’t your thing.

 

Laying in bed: a book you could have read in a day

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The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace is a poetry book I started reading at bedtime then had to force myself to stop reading because I was feeling sleepy. I finished it as soon as I woke up a few hours later.

 

Snacking: a guilty pleasure book

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Romance heavy books with lots and lots of smut and/or angst are my guilty pleasure reads. A recent example would be The Winter King by C.L. Wilson and the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead.

 

Netflix: series you want to start

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You got a coffee? That list could take a while. But, to name a few:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson

The Diviners series by Libba Bray

The Raven Boys quartet by Maggie Stiefvater

Poison Study trilogy by Maria V. Snyder

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

 

Deep clean (aka what I need to start doing): been on your TBR for ages

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Don’t come for me …A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I have a serious love/hate relationship with the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. That’s why it’s taken me a while to read ACOWAR, among other things.

 

Animal crossing: a book you recently bought because of hype

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The most recent book I bought based on hype was Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistan. Although, from what I know, I sincerely doubt I will regret it.

 

Productivity: a book you learnt or had an impact on you

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Just about everything by Amanda Lovelace, mainly The Princess Saves Herself in This One and, most recently, To Drink Coffee with a Ghost. The latter I read at the beginning of this year. It really hit a nerve on my “mommy issues” and it’s one of the few books that made me cry.

 

Facetime: a book you were gifted

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The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic are books I received this past Christmas.

 

Self-care: what is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself?

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Giving myself mental breaks from homework and not forcing myself to read. That’s why it took me a few days to pick up The Indigo Spell, the next book in the Bloodlines series. After reading the first two back to back, my brain, nor my emotions, couldn’t take it. Normally, reading books are my self-care, but after weeks of homework, I needed Netflix and YouTube instead.

 

Bonus: name a book coming out soon

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Three books coming out soon that I pre-ordered months ago are: Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff; The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins; and The Burning God by R.F. Kuang, which I think is still coming out in May.

 

What book coming out soon are you looking forward to?

 

If you want to do this tag, you can say I tagged you!

April 2020 Book Haul

Me, at the start of the quarantine:

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Me, by Easter:

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It’s all the coronavirus’s fault. When the isolation started and I saw commas for the first time in my checking account, I planned on not buying any books in April. The pre-orders I had coming in May are the only books I thought I wanted at the time. I did, however, finally subscribe to Book of the Month, which I’ve been following for ages but never actually bought. One of the April selections was calling to me and, compared to other book subscription services, Book of the Month is pretty cheap.

Then, I fell into a weird funk on Easter. It had been happening on and off over the past month. While my dad and brother were engrossed in our yearly watch of The Bible miniseries on the History Channel, I went on an Amazon shopping spree. Then, last week, I went on Books a Million’s website and bought three more books. After that, I was done…at least for April.

It’s another long book haul. Do you expect anything less from me at this point?

 

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

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My first ever purchase from Book of the Month, The Library of Legends, was a book I knew I had to have. An early release, it is a historical fiction novel set in China circa 1937, following a group of students travelling to Shanghai to escape the Japanese bomb attacks and protecting a collection of ancient Chinese folklore books. The cover is beautiful, but the “library” part and any plots about literature blurring into reality are my buzzwords.

 

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Annelies by David Gillham

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Bear No Malice by Clarissa Harwood

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

The Familiars by Stacy Hall

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

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These next few are books I’ve had marked as priority on my Amazon wish list, yet I kept buying other books over them. Roshani Chokshi and Lyndsay Faye are authors I read before, so I have high expectations for The Gilded Wolves and The Paragon Hotel, respectively. Some of these books, If We Were Villains, The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls, and The Familiars were previously library books I checked out. I am positive I will enjoy all these, so I bought them instead of borrowing them again.

Once Upon a River is a magical mystery involving the disappearance of a young girl later found by curious people at a tavern. Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan. Bear No Malice is a post-World War II romantic drama and mystery. Annelies is a historical retelling where the author imagines who Anne Frank would have been like as an adult had she survived the Holocaust. Lastly, The Island of Sea Women is all about female friendship in a community where women are the fisherman.

 

Amber & Dusk / Diamond & Dawn by Lyra Selene

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman / The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

The Storm of Life by Amy Rose Capetta

Bid My Soul Farewell by Beth Revis

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

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I am so, so bad at keeping up with series that in many cases, they finish before I actually get around to reading them. Amber & Dusk, along with its sequel Diamond & Dawn are two books in either a duology or otherwise series I’ve wanted to pick up for a while. Since I bought it from Amazon through an independent seller, I actually received the Owlcrate exclusive edition of Amber & Dusk. It’s pretty cool and in good condition, plus it’s signed, and it will look good with the red cover of Diamond & Dawn.

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman and The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl are the second and third books to The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter. The Storm of Life is the sequel to The Brilliant Death. Bid My Soul Farewell is the sequel to Give the Dark My Love. The Kingdom of Copper is the second book in the series, the first book being The City of Brass. Between Burning Worlds is the most recent installment in a series, the previous book Sky Without Stars. Ruthless Gods is the second book to Wicked Saints and Sword in the Stars is the sequel to Once & Future.  

 

Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao

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I have yet to read a book by Julie C. Dao, who also wrote Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, a retelling of the origin story of the Evil Queen from Snow White based in Asian mythology. I also own its sequel, which I got back in January, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix. Song of the Crimson Flower is about a spoiled nobleman’s daughter that turns down the marriage proposal of a sweet physician’s assistant. She has a change of heart later, only to realize the boy’s soul is now trapped inside his flute, cursed by a witch that only love can set him free. Even though he now despises her, the heroine sets out on a quest to free him.

 

The Confession by Jessie Burton

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Jessie Burton is an author from the UK whose previous books, The Muse and The Miniaturist, are some of my favorites. By happenstance, I was checking up on authors I hadn’t seen anything from in a while and discovered she had a new book, The Confession. This is another dual timeline historical fiction, in which a daughter tries to track down a woman from her late mother’s past to unravel a shocking family mystery. Of all Jessie Burton’s books so far, The Confession has the best cover and since most of her book covers are gorgeous, that’s saying something.

 

What books have you bought this month?

The Finished Books Tag

What does one do when you are craving to write content for your long-suffering blog but your brain feels like a lump of meat? Reach into your book-tag emergency fund.

I first saw this tag, the Finished Books Tag, on Kristin Kraves Books a while ago. It looks like a lot of fun.

 

Do you keep a list of the books you have read?

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I use Goodreads to keep track of all the books I read in a year, as well as far back as I can remember, since I started my account in 2012. In addition to that, I use a notebook to keep track of all the books I read in a month, and the ratings I gave them. This is how I write my monthly TBRs and wrap-ups.

 

If you record statistics, what statistics do you record?

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Not much, besides what I rated them. Lately, I’ve been thinking more about page count. I didn’t read a lot of big books last year. So, I unofficially aimed for a higher overall page count this year. I only look hard at the statistics writing up the yearly reading survey, but even then it’s the bare minimum.

 

Do you give star ratings for books and if so, what do you score books out of and how do you come about this score?

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I use the Goodreads star ratings. If I consider a half-star rating, I simply write it in the review box. I base these ratings on how I feel about the writing style, the plot, the characters, and my overall enjoyment of the book.

 

Do you review books?

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If I really want to talk about a book, I will write an individual review on my blog or on Goodreads. Otherwise, I write smaller reviews in my monthly reading wrap-ups.

 

Where do you put your finished books?

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Wherever they were in the first place. That is either their spot on my bookshelves or in the pile of finished library books to be returned.

 

Do you have any other rituals for when you have finished a book?

After finishing a book, I write down my rating in the notebook, then mark it as “read” on Goodreads. If I consider the book a new favorite, I draw a purple star next to the title in the notebook and then I add it to my favorites list on Goodreads. At the end of the month, I add my favorites I read from that month to my yearly favorites list on Goodreads.

I’m so grateful for the Internet. No one else in my life would care about this.

 

I tag:

Shanah

Rebecca

Grey  

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Series I Want to Start

Story of my life…round two….

Sometimes, I am not very good at keeping up with series I start, even if I am really into it. In recent years, I started to wonder if I like to deny myself things I like or what I want. However, it is usually because older books on my TBR are waiting to be read or other cool series pop up as I’m waiting for the next installments. Occasionally, I even want to wait until the series is finished because I can’t stand the idea of waiting for the next books.

In short, there are a lot more than five series that I want to start. For the sake of this post, five of those book series are:

 

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

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I haven’t read Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom solely on the principal that I have not read the original Grisha trilogy. Regardless of the fact you do not need to read the first Grisha trilogy to read Six of Crows, I still want to. Doesn’t matter if the spoilers are minor; I like to read books in publication order. Of all the series on this list, if I can read at least Six of Crows, I will be happy.

 

Caraval trilogy by Stephanie Garber

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I know a lot of people fell out of love with Caraval, only I love the idea of a magical circus and sisters saving each other. And flowery writing is one of my favorite things, though I admit it can be overdone sometimes. Plus, the covers of these books are gorgeous, especially Finale, which is my favorite.

 

Three Dark Crowns series by Kendare Blake

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I read Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood duology in high school and it is one of my favorite series to this day. I bought each book in the Three Dark Crowns series as they came out, yet still have not gotten around to reading them. This is one of the series I want to read the most in 2020.

 

The Folk of the Air trilogy by Holly Black

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At this point in time, I have read enough of Holly Black’s books to determine if she has potential of being a new favorite author. I enjoyed The Darkest Part of the Forest and Doll Bones. I’ve heard great things about The Folk of the Air trilogy, primarily the first two books, The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King. The Queen of Nothing hasn’t gotten the best feedback. But I think we all know by now finales are hard.

 

A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab

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Besides the Six of Crows duology, A Darker Shade of Magic is another series I genuinely want to read in 2020. At this point, I’ve read This Savage Song, Vicious, and Vengeful, and enjoyed all of them. The main reason I haven’t picked up A Darker Shade of Magic is because I want to read Our Dark Duet, the sequel to This Savage Song, which I’ve ignored for much too long now.

 

What popular series do you want to read?

The Stay Home Reading Tag

I had every intention of participating in the Stay Home Reading Rush Ariel Bissett on YouTube hosted last weekend. Thursday was a no-go because of homework, but I planned on bringing my A-game on Friday and read into Sunday. More on that in my April wrap-up.

Since I am ONE WEEK AWAY from finishing graduate school and my work is still closed, I will be doing a lot more reading at home in the foreseeable future. For the time being, this tag is still relevant.

 

How is your reading going while staying home?

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At first, when this whole quarantine started, not great. It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. I had so much time on my hands to do homework, but it was hard to focus. Home has too many distractions. My brain is slowly turning to mush because of it. My dormant anxiety has been flaring up unexpectedly; I’m getting emotional and irritable over stupid little things. I feel lonely most days, if I am being honest. Sometimes, TV and YouTube help more than books. In the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve been getting better at reading regularly.

 

Where have you been reading at home?

Most of my reading has been on the sofa in the living room, either first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon.

 

Best book you’ve read during isolation?

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As of writing this, my favorite books I read during isolating are Bloodlines and The Golden Lily, the first two novels in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. Another contender for a favorite is The Winter King by C.L. Wilson.

 

What’s your favorite feel good book?

I’m not good about rereading books, even old favorites that could cheer me up during times of stress. If I really am in a bad mood, I don’t turn to reading. Instead, I watch movies on Disney + or TV shows on Netflix or videos on YouTube.

 

Book you wish you could buy or borrow from the library?

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Because we, thankfully, have the Internet, buying books (shamefully) has not been a major problem. I finally caved and subscribed to Book of the Month. You will see the first book I got from them in my upcoming April book haul. Although, I can’t lie…it’s nice to see commas in my checking account. Not buying a lot of (or any) books each month will certainly keep that going.

Books I wanted to borrow before the quarantine were The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz, This Boy by Lauren Myracle, and Straight on Till Morning by Liz Braswell. I also wanted to re-borrow books I had checked out a while ago, such as Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken and The Wicked and the Wise by Rebecca Podos.

 

Author you want to shout out during this time?

Richelle Mead, for writing such entertaining and binge able books, namely the Bloodlines series. I got way more addicted than I was expecting.

 

What is your Reading Rush TBR?

After failing at loosely participating in both the Reading Rush as well as the Off-the-Grid-a-thon, I managed to finish only one of the books on my TBR. That was Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, though, admittedly, I had already started it prior to either read-a-thon.

 

How has your reading been during this prolonged COVID-19 isolation?

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet

Story of my life….

Despite my best efforts, I don’t always keep up with popular releases. I might buy them during the top of their hype, but more often than not, it will be another year or even longer before I actually read it. All this is usually because my backlist TBR is so long and I feel bad for reading new books when older ones are still waiting. Sometimes, if I opt to get a book from the library, I will manage to read it before the hype wears off.

There are a lot of popular books on my TBR that I have not read yet. 2020 is the year I hope to knock some of these off.

Five popular books I haven’t read yet are:

 

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

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After I read I Am the Messenger last year, Markus Zusak officially had the potential of becoming a new favorite author. Bridge of Clay came out in 2017 and it had been his first book in over ten years at that point. After its publication, though, I did not hear a lot about it. From what little I did hear about Bridge of Clay, it was not all that enthusiastic. If I recall, Bridge of Clay is about five brothers in rural Australia, supposedly a mystery involving the youngest.

 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Yes…I know…I think I had this book on another popular books I hadn’t read yet two years ago….I honestly have no explanation as to why I have not yet felt compelled to read The Hate U Give. I still have not seen the movie, either. 2020 is the year I read The Hate U Give.

 

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

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When Dimple Met Rishi is another beloved young adult novel I still have not read. At the time it was released, I think I was not quite into contemporary as I was into fantasy. But I like the idea of a diverse novel following an arranged marriage between two teenagers with very different ideas about their Indian culture. I recently bought Sandhya Menon’s newest book, Of Curses and Kisses, facing its beautiful cover front and center on my bookshelves. All her other books keep calling to me, but I refuse to read any others until I read When Dimple Met Rishi.

 

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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I bought a signed copy of What If It’s Us from Barnes & Noble from a Black Friday sale the same year it came out, if I remember correctly. By that time, I had read History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, as well as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli and enjoyed all of them. Unfortunately, What If It’s Us did not get the best feedback, so I am cautiously optimistic.

 

Circe by Madeline Miller

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The only adult fantasy book on this list, Circe was yet another book I had checked out from the library with every intention of reading except I didn’t. I probably would have bought a copy anyway, since I love Greek mythology and I was interested to see what Madeline Miller did with such a minor character like Circe. This is another book I have front and center on my shelves—mostly because it can’t fit anywhere else in the mess—but I am hopeful this book will replace the Bernadette Peters Circe in my head with a new one.

 

Did you read any of these books and what did you think of them?