Blogtober is coming!

I participated last year and it was so much fun. Stressful at times, but still in an enjoyable way. I’ve been looking forward to this all year, honestly, and I’m so excited (and nervous, I won’t lie) about it.

You know almost as much as I do about what kinds of things will be appearing on the blog this month, because I haven’t planned much and have nothing scheduled. Yikes :/ But that’s ok! I do have a few ideas, and I’m going to get started with the actual planning of things tonight.

One thing that I do already have planned are more frequent updates for the autumn challenges I’m participating in (R.I.P. XIII and FrightFall/Something Wicked This Fall Comes in particular). So, I’ll probably be posting weekly wrap ups, at least. Hopefully I’ll get in a few reviews, too.

I think that’s it for now. I have to get back to some reading for a weekend read-a-thon, and then start planning more stuff for Blogtober.

Happy Halloween Month Eve!


2017 End of Year Book Survey

I’m late, I know. I wanted to get this up in the first week of January, but…life. And a bit of laziness, and panic because I still haven’t made new featured images. *sigh* Oh well, I’m here now and I’m ready to do this thing!

The end of year book survey is hosted by Jamie (Perpetual Page Turner), so go check out her blog to see all the other people who have done the survey and linked up, and don’t forget to add your own link if you participate 🙂

2017 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books You Read: 105! (But, a few of those were short stories, so it was more like 98-100 books, I think.)
Number of Re-Reads: 15 if I counted right.
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy, with poetry coming in as a close second.

Best in Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

Ok, I’m cheating and not answering this one yet, because I’m working on a big post about favorite reads from last year. So, when that’s done, I’ll link it here.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer :/ I really wanted to love it, but I just didn’t. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t a fan and I think I gave it 2.5 or 3 out of 5 stars.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Hmm… Ok, I’m going with “good” surprising and say Everything Must Go by Jennie Fran Davis. I was prepared to really dislike it and the protagonist, but I ended up really loving both.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio!!! ❤ (I have no clue if anyone actually read it, but I haven’t shut up about it all year. Let me know in the comments if you read it because I pushed it so hard 😛 )

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Can I cheat and not answer this one, since these are categories for my big post of 2017 faves? Ok, I’ll partially answer with a 2017 released series ender that I read: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Oh gosh, this one is tough, too. I’m just going to go with poetry for this one and say Kat Savage. (*stops self from adding 4 more poets*)

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I’m going with cute, YA, contemporary books for this one and saying When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. If any book were going to convince me to give more contemporaries a try, this is it.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I’m cheating and using two (one adult, one YA) that were both new to me and read within a day: The Martian by Andy Weir, and 27 Hours by Tristina Wright.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Uuuh…. Ok, either one of the Shades of Magic books (or the whole series), or the Six of Crows duology… Or maybe The Valiant because the sequel (The Defiant) comes out soon.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

(Do comics count? I’m counting it.)

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

So. Many. I’ll say Kaz Brekker, though, because I swear I think I think about him every day.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

I have to go with My Invented Country by Isabel Allende. The translation was beautifully written, so I can only imagine how great the original Spanish was.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

I’m not sure I read many books that would fit for this one, but I’m going to say Exit West by Mohsin Hamid because it’s very timely.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

The Martian by Andy Weir! I’d had a copy for over 2 years, and it was out for like 5 years before I finally got to it.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

I don’t have any written down, but it was probably something potentially obscene from The Martian 😛

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

I’m not bothering to try to figure out what the shortest novel or novella or poetry collection was, so I’m including short stories for this. My shortest was The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (12 pages), and the longest was East of Eden by John Steinbeck (778 pages).

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

There was a thing that happened in Winter People by Jennifer McMahon that I still kinda remember, a year later, that totally caught me by surprise. Like, I usually see things coming, but that one thing…

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Holland (Shades of Magic) + PEACE 😥 I’m really not a shipper, sorry.

Ok, ok, to actually give two characters, I have to dig into my re-reads because it’s the only time I can even remember shipping characters, on my own, without the influence of the bookish community: Sookie + Eric from the Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Hm, probably Fallon and Elka from The Valiant by Lesley Livingston.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Six of Crows duology from Leigh Bardugo! I’d read the Grisha trilogy before, and she’s become one of my absolute favorite authors ❤

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Uuuh… I actually don’t think of any. Can I count something I only read because everyone was talking about it? I’ll go with A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. (This book solidified my opinion that hyped books are really not always good books. I mean, if you like it, great, and I hope the rest of the series doesn’t disappoint you. It just really wasn’t for me.)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

I’m not sure I had any. If I were still a teenager, it would probably have been Nina Zenik, though.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

I can’t pick just one, and this is another for my big list (that will be broken down into categories).

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Probably the Shades of Magic world by V.E. Schwab.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Maybe it’s a weird choice, but Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher was the first book that came to mind.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez ❤ I loved it and teared up a lot, cried once or twice, and then felt healed and better than I was before reading it by the time I got to the end.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez!! Not enough people are talking about it, and I think they should be. (For poetry readers, that is, or people who are looking to get into poetry.)

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Damn it, I can’t use Love, and You for everything -_- Uuh… A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, probably. I remember coming out of reading it feeling like I’d been pulverized then poured into a vaguely me-shaped mold and recast.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

I’m going with Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis because the formatting was really cool and fun to read. The whole book was also pretty unique, at least in my reading experience.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I’m going with something I really didn’t like for this one, and I’m mad because I really wanted to like it: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. *ducks and covers head to avoid rocks* I know, I know! I just couldn’t love it, and I’m sorry. It was almost my least favorite book of the year :/

Your Blogging/Bookish Life:

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

No, no, no, can’t choose! I’ve found so many absolutely wonderful blogs in the last year, and I can’t pick a favorite, sorry. I 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

Oh gosh, none of them? :/ I’m so critical of my own stuff, and I always doubt that I’ve written anything good, even if I thought it sounded good as I wrote it. *sigh* That said… If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, probably, because I loved the book so much that the review ended up being super easy to write, and I had fun writing.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Hmm… I really don’t know, sorry. There were tons of things I really enjoyed, like doing T5W and Blogtober, but I’m not sure I could pick a “best” post. I will say one of my favorite bookish posts was my Spooky Book Recs & Discussion: A Mixed Bag (which links to my two other posts for spooky recs during Blogtober last year). I had a lot of fun with that series, and Blogtober in general.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Ha, Blogtober! I loved it, even though it was a little challenging and hard to keep up with. I think I’ll participate again this year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Uh…I’m really not sure. Maybe getting a few spam comments. I felt like I’d finally “made it” haha. 

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Oh definitely the surgery, ugh. That prevented me from reading for weeks for various reasons (pain, stress, meds, etc.), and kinda killed my reading motivation and desire to blog for a while.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By views, it was The New Disney Princess Tag (I’d forgotten about it, but it was really fun).

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Most of them 😛 Kidding (well, mostly haha). I’m not really sure about specific posts, off the top of my head, but I know there were a few I’d worked hard on that didn’t really get any interaction, which was a little disappointing. Maybe some of my reviews, or lists of book recommendations.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I’m not sure if it counts as a discovery, since I’d been aware of its existence for years, but I finally got to make a trip to the closest used bookstore

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes! I set a low-stress goodreads goal of 12 books and finished 105, whoo! I also did pretty well with the Fall Bookish Bingo and other autumn challenges I participated in.

I came pretty close to succeeding with my #RockMyTBR goal (every month read at least 1 book I’ve had for at least a year but haven’t read). I ended up getting 9/12 months, and at least 17 books. There might have been more I never shelved, though. I call that a win because I still managed to read more than 12, even if I missed months, and reading more from my personal library was the ultimate goal, so… *shrugs*

Looking Ahead:

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

Eh, there were a few that are really high priority for me, including a few backlist titles I’d wanted to read last year, but never managed to get to (like Hidden Figures, which I’m currently reading, and This Savage Song). I’ll say The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, though, because I really wanted to read it last year.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

So many! Probably Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, and The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace are highest on my list right now, though.

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The only debut I can think of right now that I’m eagerly awaiting is DROPKICKromance by Cyrus Parker, but I’m sure I’ll find a few more soon.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

I…don’t think I’m actually that caught up on series that are ending or getting a new book this year :/ I’m at least one or two books behind for all the in-progress series I’m interested in, or haven’t even started them yet. It’s probably still Obsidio, though. I’ve only read Illuminae, but I’m dying to jump into Gemina when I get Obsidio so I can marathon them.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

I did the T5W last week that was about bookish resolutions, but I think my number one thing to do/accomplish is to just have a good time reading. I spent a couple of years putting way too much pressure on myself, and I want to relax with books again.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I thought I had a book in mind for this, but it actually came out late 2017. I’ve got a few ARCs, though, so hopefully I’ll have a few recs soon.

Aaannndd we’re done! Whew.

Anyone still awake? (Ha, I’m just kidding. I doubt anyone slogged through that whole post 😛 If you did, oh my gosh, are you okay? And also, thank you ❤ ) As you can see, my reading and blogging life is just super thrilling.

Oh well, I enjoyed doing this anyway, and I’m probably going to do it next year. The difference will be that I’ll be prepared next time, and will have fewer vague answers and the like.

If you did this survey, too, let me know in the comments and I’ll check yours out 🙂 Happy 2018, everyone!

Weekly Wrap Up: Jan. 01-Jan.07

I seriously doubt I’ll stick to weekly wrap ups because A) I don’t have the time, focus, or patience for it, and B) my life (including my reading life) is pretty boring honestly. But, I felt like trying something new, and I wanted to make a blog post.

Reading stuff:

Screenshot (99)

2018 started off strong, and then tapered off dramatically in like two days.

Why? Well, at the end of 2017, I decided to try to finish series I’ve started but never finished. I have quite a few of these (or at least parts of them) sitting on my shelves, and it’s time I finally get through the ones that are complete, or will be soon.

I was excited about re-reading The Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka the Sookie Stackhouse series, aka the books True Blood is based on) because I’d just finished True Blood and I (finally!) had all the books. Yay! (I’d read all but the 13th a few years ago, and have since forgotten basically everything :/ )

But no. I read up to Dead Reckoning, finishing it in the wee hours, and got up later and reached for my copy of Deadlocked (the 12th of 13 books in the series)…and it wasn’t there.

I tore my house apart all day looking for it. No luck finding it, but I did find about 6 billion spiderwebs, 5 missing DVD,s, a few other missing books, and a partridge in a pear tree. (Ok, not the partridge, but everything else.)

Then I checked Overdrive. Huzzah! The entire series is there! But no. The license for just the last two books has expired.

But wait! My library has a physical copy! Nope. That was when the below freezing weather began and husband has been working snow removal, and heck if I’m driving an hour one way across a mountain in the snow and ice just to check out one book.

Finally, I looked on goodreads to see what the edition I’d read previously was (I’m obsessive about getting the right edition shelved, except in rare instances, like back before we had the re-read option). Hardcover. No, that can’t be right! I only owned books 9 and 10 in hardcover!

So, it turns out I never actually bought book 12. *sigh* I have books 1-11 and book 13, as well as the complete stories, but not book 12. That frustration kinda killed my desire to keep reading.

_hidden figures

But all is not lost! I’m starting a buddy read of Hidden Figures with one of my friends, now that we’ve both managed to get a copy.

Hopefully, since the days are supposed to warm back up a bit this week, I’ll be able to finish it, get to the library and check out Deadlocked, and get back on track. (Bonus Timon! 😛 )



Life stuff:

You really don’t want to hear about it. Basically, this is me right now:

Blog stuff:

I’m working on figuring out a new schedule because some of the weekly meme things I used to participate in don’t seem to be active anymore.

I’m also reading an ARC I should have read last year (my surgery, the kittens, and NaNo really threw off my reading and reviewing, eek) and will hopefully have finished and reviewed around the middle of the month. 

I’ve gone through my files and deleted pretty much all my (ugly) original featured image things. I’m planning to take some pictures, maybe doodle some, and play around a bit more with GIMP. Hopefully, I’ll have new ones that look better on posts by mid-February.

That’s a project I’ve been meaning to work on for almost a year, and it’s really not something I’m looking forward to because I have a lot of ideas, I’m not particularly talented, I’m a little lazy, and I tend to lose interest in projects like that halfway through. (There’s a reason I have a few scrapbooks and the like with only a few pages finished. *sigh*)

Lastly, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do for my 2017 wrap up -_- That should be up in a few days.

On the agenda for today:

Hopefully knocking out a chunk of Hidden Figures, not freezing to death (it’s actually not that cold, it’s only like 0-ish outside and between 50-60 degrees inside), and getting started with those featured images. And getting pictures I’ve been meaning to take since Christmas, of my holiday book haul, because I’m sick of looking at my tree and meant to take it down on the 1st, but keep putting it off because I want it for those pictures.

How’s your 2018 going so far?

Have you finished any books?

What are you reading now?

Blogtober Babbling: Blah :/

I meant to finish working on a couple of blog posts today, but I haven’t felt up to it. I think I had some bad cashew yogurt (or maybe it really just tastes that weird, which I find hard to believe because I like all the other cashew-milk things I’ve tried), and now I have a migraine, so I haven’t accomplished much today.

Before I started feeling like crap, I did manage to get a few of my scene notes transferred from my notebook to Scrivener, so that’s something, I guess.

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel better and will actually finish scheduling posts for the weekend. 

I’m between books and feeling so weird about it because there are so many things I want to read, but I can’t decide what I actually feel up for reading, if that makes sense. I don’t want to get into a series, because I don’t want to get pulled into that kind of commitment around NaNoWriMo. The same thing goes for books over about 500 pages. *sigh* That doesn’t narrow my list down much, though, so I have no clue what I’m going to read next. I haven’t read in 2 or 3 days and it feels wrong :/

NaNoWriMo Prep Update

I was going to do T5W, but…I kinda forgot :/ And I could only think of 4 books (I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll have thought of, like, 10), so… NaNo update it is, because it’s still Blogtober and I’m determined to see this through! (And I actually have updates, wow.)

Yesterday, I finally opened Scrivener. I had downloaded the NaNoWriMo trial version several days ago, but I was still too intimidated to open it because I knew the walk-through/tutorial thing was going to take forever. I was right. It took me about 7 hours to get through it. I wasn’t working my way through it for every minute of that time, but a lot of it. I’d say it would have taken me about 2.5-3 hours if I’d just powered straight through it without short breaks.

So, that’s finally done and now I’m actually using Scrivener, huzzah!

My first impressions are ❤ ❤ ❤ basically. I used to be such a pantser, but over the last couple of years I’ve definitely become more of a planner/plotter, and I can totally see how Scrivener might be the answer to the prayers I didn’t know I was saying while I cursed my notecards, notebooks, legal pads, scribbled notes, pinterest boards, etc. every year in the past.

My enjoyment of Scrivener is my motivation for winning NaNo this year, because I need to win. Not just to prove to myself that I can, but because I really want that 50% off coupon for NaNo winners. (It’s $40 software for PC, $45 for Mac.) I’m working on my mini-goal “rewards” still, but Scrivener is my winning reward.

I’ve started putting together character sheets and location sheets, and I have a few things for reference already imported to Scrivener. I still have a bit more of that to do, though, so I don’t have to keep hunting down pages of things online. My main characters are named, I’m working on side characters, and I need to get a few more descriptions and reference pics for the setting.

Next, I’m going to figure out if I want to plan scene-by-scene or chapter by chapter. I might do both, starting with chapter planning (a general idea of what’s going to happen), then breaking it down and getting a more in-depth outline for scenes. I usually plan just by chapter, but I’m thinking this year I’ll do that and then drop in the scenes I’ve already planned, once I figure out exactly where they belong.

Finally, I’ve figured out that if I do get totally stuck, as I often do during NaNo, I’m not going to worry about it and just write whatever, even if it doesn’t really go with the story. I can leave a note to come back and remove/edit those bits later. I just need to get the bones down, and reach those 50k words. My inner editor is my biggest hindrance for NaNo, so it’s time to squash that like a bug and move on.

I’m aiming for 2k words every day, so I have a little breathing room if something comes up.

One final note: Because I’ll be writing so much next month, my blog will probably be mostly weekly memes, like T5W. I should have a review or two up next month, but most of my focus will be on writing. I’m not going on hiatus or anything from my blog, but I’ll almost certainly be posting less than I’d like.

If you’re doing NaNo and want to be buddies, add me!

I’ll also be tweeting about it.

NaNoWriMo Prep Update

This was supposed to go up yesterday :/ Not sure what happened.

I haven’t done nearly as much on-paper planning as I’d meant to/thought I would have by now, but I’ve got a lot of different things floating around in my head still. The problem is deciding which ones to keep and then figuring out how I’m going to link them all together :/

But, at least I think I know my MC’s name, plus two other characters. I have a general idea of my MC’s personality and history, and how she might react to things. We’ll see how it goes next month, though, I guess. I know what the setting looks like. Like, the images are so clear in my head I want to scream because I’m not talented enough to draw or paint them.

Next up, I need to make a pinterest board or something for my characters and things that will be in the story. I haven’t actually done this before, but I did use something similar (some online corkboard thing, I think) one year and it was just ok. Pinterest is way better, though, so I’m hopeful it’ll help keep me motivated and inspired, and remind me of what something looks like when I have a freak out and my mind goes blank and I forget everything -_-

I’ve written down a few pages of notes and I’m just about ready to start actually outlining. It would be nice if I could figure out the middle and ending before NaNo starts, for a change. (Actually, I think I had the ending last year, but no middle at all and it was a nightmare.) I have some ideas, but I keep discarding them all and trying to think of something new. I’m hoping I’ll be inspired soon, so I’m not panicking about it when NaNo begins. I might even just pick one of my not-great endings, because I can always go back and change it later.

This doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. This doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t even have to be good. This doesn’t… (Anyone else have to keep repeating things like that as a reminder to chill out?)

One thing that’s drastically different this year from every other year I’ve done NaNo is that I’m not going to try to win. This year, I will win. It will be an ugly mess that might never be fit for other human eyes, and I will almost certainly have bits that are just me typing in things like “Add [whatever kind of thing should happen here] in a couple months when you come back to edit! Move on!” but I will get those 50k words this year. No more excuses, no more giving up. It’s happening.

(Somebody remind me I said this when I inevitably hit the “I can’t do this!” stage around day 10-15 next month, please.)

Blogtober Babbling: When you’re in the mood for specific books and don’t have any of them :/

First off, happy Friday the 13th!

I hate this particular type of…well, it’s not really a book slump, but it’s similar in some ways, because trying to work around it means I’m struggling to read.

Right now, I’m in the mood for a few books I know of, but I don’t have any of them. I kind of understand when I’m in the mood for a particular trope or theme, or type of character, but this is strange because all the books I’m in the mood for seem pretty different.

Like: The Vegetarian by Han Kang, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (ok those two are similar enough I guess), Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (kicking myself for not snagging this one when it was a Kindle daily deal a few days ago), A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay, Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire…

See what I mean? And there are more. Like, probably at least 5 others I’d love to read right now because I’m in the mood for them, but I just don’t have them. My library also doesn’t have any of these, in physical format or on Overdrive. *sigh*

I think I really need to apply for an out of state card from the Brooklyn library. I think it’s like $50/year, but their Overdrive selection makes it totally worth it. I mean, if I *don’t* buy 2-3 hardcovers because I checked them out from there, the card pays for itself. Anything after that is money I’m saving. (Have any of you done this? Gotten a card from a large library in another state to use for their digital titles?)

Right now I’m trying to decide between a few books I do have, particularly The Witches of Eastwick vs The Stepford Wives (if you have an opinion on which I should read first, let me know!), but I just kind of feel like sitting on the couch and staring at horror movies instead.

Speaking of which…It’s Friday the 13th, which means my movie selection for tonight has been made for me. Yay :/ (I’m not a big fan of Jason or Michael. I’m a Freddy fan.)

Wow this really is a babbling post :/

Does anyone else get in book-moods like this?

Do you have any tips for managing it/getting over it?


Lastly, The Witches of Eastwick or The Stepford Wives: which should I read first?