Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books I Own (and Still Need to Read)

This is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week, there’s a theme and you choose ten books that fit it. Check out upcoming topics here.

This week is a freebie week, so I decided to pick this topic because…well, it was the first past topic I saw that excited me 😛 This one could go on and on and on, so to help narrow it down to just ten books, I left out classics.

In no particular order…

Vicious (Villains, #1) by V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab– Oh my gods, I know. I also can not believe I still haven’t read this, ugh. But! I think I’m picking it up later this week, finally!

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik– Another one that seems to always make lists about books I still haven’t read. Send help.

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden– I think this has made at least one appearance on a list like this, oops. But, I’m probably reading this one soon, too, because it’s giving me super wintry vibes and I’m feeling it.

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco– Ok, this one was on my autumn TBR, I think, but in my defense I didn’t read it because I read her Girl From the Well duology and *loved* them. Highly recommend. This one, I’ll probably get to early in 2019.

The Luminaries

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton– I picked this up from a bargain bin sometime in 2017, I think, after hearing good things about it. I’m probably saving it for a round of Tome Topple, though, because it’s chunky.

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry– I think I actually got this at the same time as The Luminaries, also probably on sale (but not in a bargain section because it was quite new still). I’ve heard this is great, so I’m looking forward to reading it soon(ish).

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers– I can not believe I still haven’t read this! It kind of disappeared from my line of sight because it somehow got knocked behind other books on the shelf -_- Thanks, cats. Anyway, I finally rediscovered it while making this list, so this is something I hope to read either this month or next.


Fingersmith by Sarah Waters– This has been on my TBR for years, along wiht some of her other books, but I finally got a copy of this one earlier this year! This one I might save for Tome Topple as well, but we’ll see.

White Teeth

White Teeth by Zadie Smith– I can’t remember how long I’ve had this one (I definitely haven’t had it more than like 18 months), but it’s been on my TBR for a while. Maybe I’ll bump this one up the list for early 2019.

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber– This one…I want to read it, but I kept putting it off because of some less-than-pleased reviews I saw/read. I’m still waiting for those to fade in my memory so I can hopefully start this with an open mind and no expectations.

What are some backlist books you own but haven’t read yet?

Side note: I am having some serious issues with getting my posts to format properly. I don’t know what is up with this, but I can’t get the spacing to look right. I’m working on it, but I’ve been fighting with this post for two hours now and I am done. Scheduling and stepping away before I scream -_-


November Wrap Up/Winter Plans

I’ve been procrastinating this post all month because I kept wanting to wait until I could get a picture of the whopping three books I read last month, but it hasn’t worked out, so we’re just doing this.

Last month was NaNoWriMo, and the most recent round of Tome Topple happened. I did post about my Tome Toppple plans, but I didn’t expect to actually finish a book (I don’t think I ever have before during Tome Topple). How did I do? Well, I read all three of the books o_O That’s right, I made it through Night Film, The Witches: Salem, 1692, AND The Diviners last month while also participating in NaNoWriMo. What?! I can’t believe it.

In my last update about all of this in November, I hadn’t finished my last book or NaNoWriMo. There was still time to fail. But…I didn’t. I don’t know what happened last month, but I was on fire.

I completed an actual entire first draft of a novel for the first time ever. It’s horrible, it needs so much editing and rewriting, but I actually did it! My final word count was 54,724 words! (The “goal” word count is 50k.)

Not only did I finish an actual first draft of a novel, but I also plan to go back and make it better probably during the spring. I can’t believe I really did it omg. I’m not going to lie, there’s a tiny bit of pride happening because of this.

I was also going to post my Bookish Bingo wrap up, but I totally lost track of what I read for the prompts and I didn’t do great with it anyway because I didn’t get much reading done this autumn.

That brings me to my winter reading plans and such!

First of all, Winter Bookish Bingo, yesss! I’m totally participating. Head over to Pretty Deadly Reviews to see the prompts for this round.

King of Scars comes out in January(!!!) so I’m considering pre-ordering that because I NEED IT! Aaah! Now I can finally read Wonder Woman: Warbringer because I’ll have another Leigh Bardugo book to read soon! You guys, I can not even begin to put into words how freaking excited I am for this book! It’s probably my most-anticipated 2019 release, honestly.

I’ll probably talk more about a few other 2019 releases I’m excited about in a later post (there’s a T5W with that prompt this month, but I’ll probably narrow it down to books released in the first half of the year).

Otherwise, I think I’m just going to try to read as much as I can before the end of the year. I’m definitely not hitting 30k pages read, but right now it doesn’t seem like I’m going to hit 25k, which was my goal once I started climbing out of The Great Reading Slump of 2018 :/ *sigh* 

And, hopefully, I’ll actually follow through with making some changes to this blog soon. I need to write a couple of reviews, and I have some ARCs I need to read and review soon. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping I actually get all of that done this month.

I really meant for this to be kind of short, but I rambled a lot more than I expected, oops. I just sat down and really felt like writing a blog post, so…here we are 😛

I hope your winter is off to a lovely start, and (if you celebrate any holidays this time of year) I hope your holidays are filled with joy ❤

Fairy Tales Fridays 08

Fairy Tale of the Week:

“Pen and Inkstand” by Hans Christian Andersen

NaNoWriMo has ended and I’m finally back to doing these, yay!

Ok, this one isn’t one I’m super familiar with, but I do think I’ve read it before. Maybe back in school, in a textbook? I’m not sure.

So there’s this poet, and he has a pen and inkstand. Some person is in the the poet’s study one day and says something about how amazing it is, what comes out of the inkwell.

The inkwell is all like, “Heck yeah it is! I’m fabulous! What the poet writes is brilliant because of me!”

That pisses off the haughty pen who’s like, “Um, actually sweetie, I’m the amazing one here. You’re just liquid and I do all the actual work.”

Sentient writing accoutrements, cool. Very fairy tale.

So, they bicker and snipe at each other, each thinking they’re more important than the other for the writing the poet does.

Then one day, the poet goes to see a concert and he’s super moved by the violin performance. He’s thinking about how the bow and strings seem to move on their own because the violinist is so skilled it doesn’t look like the playing requires much in the way of skill or effort, and how probably no one remembers the actual human person doing the playing.

But the poet will.

So, he writes an essay about people and their instruments, and how ridiculous it would be for the violin bow or strings to be proud of their achievements because the human was the actual master. He also basically said the same thing about people (because people like to boast), so the central idea of it is how people are actually instruments of the lord, and all glory is his, and all that.

The inkwell and pen take another shot at each other, each claiming the poet was referring to the other when he made the observation about how silly it would be for the instruments to be proud.

The poet continues to think about how people are all being guided by the lord, the end.

Meh. I’m sorry, but I have such a hard time with Andersen. I don’t think I’ve read one of his stories yet that I’ve genuinely enjoyed and not either disliked or just thought was “meh.” I’m definitely a Grimm fan.

I’d give this one like 2.5-3 out of 5 stars for the quarreling pen and inkstand.

T5W: Bookish Wishlist

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

December 5: Book Wish List
— If you celebrate a gift-giving holiday this time of year, or even if you don’t, talk about the books or bookish items you have on your wish list!

This topic kind of stressed me out because my book/bookish-stuff wishlist could honestly go on forever (and ever and ever an–). So, I tried to narrow it down to things I really want, but probably won’t be getting anytime soon. Like, things I would buy if I could drop a few hundred dollars on bookish things without worrying about it.

(Those two are the most expensive ones, but also super high on my wishlist. So, if I win the lottery or something, they’re probably going to be among my first purchases.)

What are some books (or bookish items) on your wishlist?

(P.S. I’m still playing around with the new editor, and trying to figure out how I want my posts to be laid out going forward, so apologies if things are kind of weird for a while until I get it all sorted.)

Tome Topple & NaNoWriMo

I probably shouldn’t have decided to participate in Tome Topple during November, but I had to try it. I posted my tentative TBR, expected to read a total of about 12 pages, and feel like a big failure again. That’s how things usually go, but I keep participating because it’s fun and does motivate me to start some of my longer, more intimidating books.

Then something strange happened, a day or two after the readathon started.

I finished my first tome (Night Film). And then I finished my second tome (The Witches: Salem 1692) a couple days later.

This is, I believe, the first time I have participated in Tome Topple and managed to actually finish even one tome.

Now, I’ve started The Diviners, which was supposed to be my back-up book (in case I couldn’t get into either of the tomes I most wanted to read this round). I’m not far into it yet, and I might not finish it by the time this round ends, but at least I’ve started it, I suppose.

NaNoWriMo has also been strange this time. Last year was the first time I “won” (reached 50k words by November 30th), but I didn’t actually finish my story. I still haven’t :/ I’m not entirely sure I want to finish that one, but I digress.

Writing has been a struggle on several days, which I’m used to. I almost gave up, which is also typical of me. But I just broke my previous “wordiest day” record (5,156 words written in one day, which happened last year) by writing 5,515 words yesterday, I’ve written over 42k total words, and I think I’ll actually finish this story and hit 50k words this month.

Maybe that’s not impressive at all (it’s probably not), but I’m pleased because this story was unplanned. For 2016 & 2017, I wrote from an outline. This year, I jumped in with the barest shred of an idea, and the story has changed a lot from my initial vision. It’s going to need a lot of editing, but that’s another strange thing about this round: I actually want to edit this one and make it better.

Last year, I said I would finish my story and edit it, but my heart wasn’t in it because I wasn’t satisfied with it. (I’ll probably end up entirely re-writing that one eventually, if I ever touch it again.) But I’m actually looking forward to making this story better, after I take a month or two to recover from cranking out a rough draft in a month 😛

Quick Check-In

I haven’t been doing Fairy Tales Fridays this month, which kind of bugs me, buuuut… It’s NaNoWriMo. I think I mentioned in one of my last posts that pretty much all of my free time is devoted to writing during November, and I wanted to make a quick update.

FTF will probably resume either November 30th (if I manage to hit 50k words before then, which relieves a little writing pressure), or December 7th.

Yesterday was the halfway point for NaNo, with a word count goal (if you’re doing things traditionally with 50k words as the final goal) of 25k. I managed to get about a day ahead, so I’m currently a little over 27k and hoping to hit 28k before midnight.

I hate writing the middle of longer things. I manage alright with short stories, I think, but novels… Ugh. This is why I’ve given up so many times in the past. I can kind of picture the end, I can even see the climax of the story, and obviously the beginning is finished. But this middle bit, between the point where things start to happen and the climax? It’s not a fun time for me.

Anyway… So, posts aren’t happening much this month, but I’m trying to at least keep up with Top 5 Wednesday. Next month, hopefully, things will be back to normal. I have a few things I meant to have finished before November, but (because October was strangely busy), I didn’t. Those will hopefully go up early next month, including a couple of reviews.

If you’re also participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you luck and motivation 🙂

Tome Topple Plans

The next round of Tome Topple begins Friday the 16th at midnight! (For me, that’s about 4 hours from the time this posts.) If you don’t know what Tome Topple is, check out Sam’s (Thoughts on Tomes) video.

Basically, it’s a read-a-thon that lasts 2 weeks, and the goal is to read books 500+ pages in length.

This post was supposed to have a picture, but… Well, between the weather and NaNoWriMo, I never got around to it :/

I really doubt my ability to finish a single book. Honestly, most Novembers are terrible reading months for me because of NaNoWriMo taking up so much of my time. After writing, I don’t have it in me to read, so I usually end up watching/re-watching shows to let my brain chill out.

But, I do have a tentative TBR:

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff– This book has been on my TBR since before it came out. I picked up a used copy last summer or early autumn, and…it’s sat on my shelf all this time. But, now I have my physical copy and the audiobook from the library, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My copy has 496 pages, but other editions are listed as over 500, and in my opinion, 496 is close enough anyway (especially for non-fiction).

Night Film by Marisha Pessl– I got a copy of this from the Dollar Tree at some point :O To make it easier, because this is NaNo month, I also checked out the audiobook. This book is one of those with extras (photos, articles, etc.), so I need my physical copy handy for that stuff, but at least I can kind of multi-task while listening when I’m on regular pages. This one has 606 pages, and I have already started reading it, but I still have about 550 pages left to read.

Those are the only two I’m really, really hoping to read during this round. (I actually started The Witches a few months ago, but I didn’t get far, so I’m going to start over.)

If, by some miracle, I get through those, or just can’t get into either of them? I’ll probably move on to The Diviners by Libba Bray. That one has been on my TBR at least once before for Tome Topple, I think. I’m too lazy to go check the page count, but I think it’s between 500 and 600.

If you’re participating, what are you hoping to read this round?