Halloween Read-a-thon Sign Up + TBR!

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I just found out about this read a thon yesterday or the 10th, but I’m excited! I wish I’d found it sooner, though, because I could have used my last read (Bird Box) for my choice between like 3 or 4 prompts 😛 Oh well, it’s fine. This will just (hopefully) motivate me to read more of the books I want to read this month anyway.

I’m notoriously awful at sticking to a TBR, so who knows what will happen. These are just the books I’m considering and hoping to read. (The book covers link to goodreads.)

Ok, before I dive in, can I just say how freaking great Lauren’s images are for this challenge? You don’t have to use these, but they’re just too cute not to ❤


About the Read-A-Thon:

(Check out Lauren’s post for all the details.)

💀 The read-a-thon is going to run from the 10th October – 31st October.  

💀 You can join in at any time until the end of the read-a-thon. 

💀 You can read as many or as little books as you want!!!

💀 The books HAVE to be horror, thriller and/or have some kind of supernatural element!! Except for one challenge, but more on that below. I’m sorry if these genres aren’t your cup of tea, but it wouldn’t really be a Halloween themed read-a-thon otherwise.

💀 When posting your TBR link back to this post so other people can join in!! Share the spooky love!! If you don’t have a blog that’s okay!! You can post your TBR on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, YouTube – ANYWHERE!!

💀 Use the hashtag #HalloweenWR to share your progress on social media!!


The Challenges/My TBR:

 

 

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I’m thinking Abberations (edited by Jeremy C. Shipp) for this one. It’s a collection of short stories from different writers, and I love the cover. Or, I might read Outcast: Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman because I’d forgotten the cover was creepy until now.

 

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So. Many. Choices! But I’m considering Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill.

 

 

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I actually don’t have a lot of books on my shelves that would work for this, but I’m thinking of reading The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin.

 

 

I do about 90% of my reading at night, so I’m counting pretty much whatever for this one. But, I might add an extra bit of challenge to it and read one of the Goosebumps books I got last month in one night.

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Oh this is soooo easy, and I’ve kind of already done it. In October, I marathon horror and thriller movies every single day. (Not loads every day, but at least one.) But, I’m thinking of doing the extra challenge and reading a book then watching the movie. Possibly The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.

 

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I think I’m going with Trick for this, but I’m not sure what I’ll read. I’m thinking about This House is Haunted by John Boyne because it’s been on my Kindle for at least a year or two. (If I don’t read and watch The Exorcist, I might use it for this one.)

 

 

I might read 7 books, but I’m not sure I’ll manage 7 that fit this read-a-thon :/ I’m going to try, though!


Let me know if you’re participating in this read-a-thon, too!

Do you have any book recs that would fit any of these challenge categories? I’d love to hear about them 🙂

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Autumn Reading Challenges

Autumn is coming! Autumn is coming! I’m so excited 😀 Ok, so autumn isn’t my favorite season (allergies suck, ugh), winter is, buuuut… I still love autumn.

Maybe it’s because it’s the promise of winter arriving soon, or because of Halloween (!!!), or because my birthday is 2 weeks before Halloween, or any number of other things, but I love autumn. Not as much as winter, but a lot.

This year, I’ve been in a reading funk and I haven’t been in the mood for the genres I reach for the most. For the past few days, I’ve really been feeling darker books (horror, thrillers, mysteries, gothic lit, etc.), and I’ve been searching for reading events/challenges, read-a-thons, etc. that center around those genres. And I found some!


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R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge

This challenge that runs from September 1st through October 31st is one I think I’ve heard of, and possibly participated in a long time ago. It’s now being hosted by My Capricious Life and Estella’s Revenge, and it sounds like a really relaxed, fun thing, with several “Perils” (levels) to choose from. I’m going with Peril the First, which is to read four books for the challenge.

Some of my possible reading choices for this challenge:

I’m also thinking about reading some Agatha Christie and/or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for this one.

If anyone wants to buddy-read any of these, please let me know because I’d love to partner up to talk about them!


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#FrightFall Readathon

This one is hosted by Seasons of Reading and runs from October 1st-31st, and (as far as I can tell), the only requirement is to read at least one scary book. I’ve been itching for good horror books for ages, so I’m really excited for this one, and I hope I find something that actually scares me.

If you guys have any suggestions for truly terrifying reads, let me know in the comments!


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Gothic September– Edgar Allan Poe read along

For this month, I’m joining this read along hosted by Castle Macabre and it’s So! Exciting! ❤ I love Edgar Allan Poe, and I’m definitely going to try to keep up with the schedule.

 


Bookish Bingo: Fall 2017

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I came across this one, hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews, by accident, and it looks like fun! This seasonal bingo runs from through the autumn season. I’m not sure how well I’ll do, but I love bookish bingo, so I’m going to play. (I wonder if you can count a graphic novel for “Illustrations…” If so, I’ve got one square already.)

I’ve already thought of some picks for about 6 of these, so yay!

 

 

 

 


And, there’s also a Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon coming around on October 21st! I’ve missed the last, like, 4 of these, so I’m hoping to remember this time and actually participate.


 

Whew! That’s a ton of things to (hopefully) inspire me to read a bit more, and more broadly, for the next 2-3 months. I’m super excited about all of these, and I can’t wait to post wrap-ups and see how many things I managed to complete.

 


Are you participating in any reading events this fall? Let me know about them in the comments!

 

August Wrap Up (psst! kitten pictures!)

August was a slow reading month for me, partially because I was still healing from surgery, partially because I’ve been in a weird multi-genre-slump all year, and partially because we found two abandoned kittens and I’ve been caring for them. (I swear these are almost harder to take care of than a newborn baby :/ )

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pic from a few days after we found them; they’re bigger now and harder to photograph because they move too much

These little demons now have names: Timon & Pumbaa. The one in the top pic was the one we found first, and he was bigger than than the second one, and he makes little grunting sounds when he eats. The smaller one would sit up on his hind feet to eat from the bottle, and kinda looked like a meerkat, so, Pumbaa and Timon seemed fitting. I tried out some other names, but they actually started responding to Timon & Pumbaa, so it stuck.


As far as books are concerned, I read 4, plus a Buzz Books sampler (which I did count for my reading goal because that was several hundred pages).

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Escapism: Words + Photos by Candice Lee (review here), a poetry/photographs books, which I gave 3/5 stars.

Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck (review here), which I gave 3.5/5 stars.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh, which I gave 5/5 stars.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin, which I gave 4/5 stars.


The Awakening counted for the #RockMyTBR Challenge (my goal was just to read at least one book that’s been on my shelf/Kindle for a year or more).

Back when I did the New Year’s Resolution Book Tag, I selected Anna Karenina as a big book I’d like to read, and my goal for it is to finish it by the end of the year. I made decent progress this month, but I’m still only about 250 pages into it. I’m not sure if it’s me or what, but I’m not loving it 😦


On the writing side of things, I finally worked more on my poetry collection. I’ve typed up everything I’ve written and edited, did more editing, and I think I’m close to having everything arranged the way I want it. I still want to write a little more for it, do a bit more editing, and (the big thing) find a title.

But, I made progress and I feel pretty good about it. I’m terrified of finishing it, though, because that means I might actually have to do something with it, like try to get it published traditionally, or take the plunge with self-publishing :O Scary stuff for someone who’s always been terrified of sharing their writing.


How was your August? Did you read anything really great?

(Ridiculously Late) June Wrap Up + Book Haul

Well, at least I did this before the month was officially half over? :/ Onward!

So June wasn’t really a great reading month for me, but that’s ok because I made up for it by buying a ton of new books…That makes sense, right? Terrifying TBR + slow reading month = buy more books! (I might have failed a math class once…)

Anyway, in June, I managed to finally get through some things I’m ashamed for having not read yet, found a new couple of favorites, and crossed an item or two off my PopSugar 2017 Reading Challenge, and completed my goal for #RockMyTBR. So, all things considered, it wasn’t a bad month. Plus, shiny new books!


I read:

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cover; links to goodreads

 

 

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (reviewed here) and I gave it 3.75/5 stars (rounded up to 4/5 stars).

 

 

 

 

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cover; links to goodreads

 

 

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (reviewed here) and I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

 

 

 

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cover; links to goodreads

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cover; links to goodreads 

The Haunted and The Hunted by Cassie Alexander (reviewed together here), and I gave The Haunted a tentative 2.75 stars (rounded up to 3/5) and The Hunted 2.5/5 stars (rounded down to 2/5)

 

 

 

 

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cover; links to goodreads

 

La Douleur Exquise by J.R. Rogue which I gave 4/5 stars, and I highly recommend Rogue’s work in general!

 

 

 

 

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cover; links to goodreads

 

 

Slammed by Colleen Hoover which I gave 2/5 stars. I wanted to like it, but it really wasn’t my thing at all, so sorry to any fans out there :/

 

 

 

 

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cover; links to goodreads

 

Macbeth by William Shakespeare which I gave 5/5 stars (but maybe 4.5/5? I’m not sure yet), and this is one I was ashamed that I hadn’t read yet. I love Shakespeare and I feel like this should have been required high school reading.

 

 

 

And, finally, I read

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cover; links to goodreads

 

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen for the first time. I think. I gave it 2/5 stars. I had a bunch of classic fairy tales when I was a kid, but I don’t remember if I had this one or not. If I did read it then, it didn’t leave an impression, and I’m still just not a fan. I think I’m more of a Grimm’s fan.

 

 


Book Haul!

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From top to bottom: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett; Hans Christian Andersen Tales (Word Cloud Classics edition because I love those and have a few others); The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore; It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett; Everything Must Go (ARC) by Jenny Fran Davis; Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour; Burial Rites by Hannah Kent; Blue Horses by Mary Oliver; Irish Folk and Fairy Tales by W.B. Yeats; Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel; The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell; If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio; The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon; The Complete Poetry of Maya Angelou

Husband picked out Equal Rites, mostly for me, because I didn’t get along well with The Color of Magic and, for a change, he wants to get me into a series. So, I read a page or so of Equal Rites, declared it to be more to my tastes, and here we are. He also found the W.B. Yeats book and thought I’d be interested (he knows me so well ❤ ).

I’m long overdue having some Andersen fairy tales, so I jumped at the chance to get this edition when I found it.

The Girl in the CastleIt’s All Fun and Games, and Everything Must Go were goodreads giveaway wins that arrived last month.

Everything Leads to YouBurial RitesBlue Horses, Station Eleven, The Bone Clocks, The Bone Season, and anything/everything Maya Angelou have all been on my wishlist and TBR for ages.

If We Were Villainshad to get because I won the audiobook a couple of months ago (review here) and became absolutely obsessed with it. I’ve been scouring B&N since then, but the closest to me doesn’t stock it. I actually–amazingly–found it at BAM, which blew my mind. Husband made me buy it because I’d finally found it (and had been talking non-stop about it for weeks by then). It’s definitely a contender for my favorite book read in 2017 and I highly recommend it!

Also, I think I should mention that while this looks like I spent an obscene amount of money, almost all of these (that I bought) were on sale. Like, under $5 kind of on sale. I felt like I’d died and gone to bibliophile heaven because I hadn’t even planned on going to the bookstore, but we did, and it was amazing. I really don’t usually buy as many books as I have this year, I’ve just come across great deals at opportune times. The only thing that bugs me a little is that a lot were on shelves outside, so they have a bit of dirt and slightly more wear than most of the inside books. But for the prices, I’m fine with that.


What was your June reading month like? See any books you loved (or hated!) on my lists?

 

Double Book Review: The Haunted/The Hunted by Cassie Alexander

 

 

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The Hunted; links to goodreads

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The Haunted; links to goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genres: erotica; BDSM (sort of) erotica; paranormal

Why I read them: I was in the mood for something kind of mindless, and found these waaaay back in my Kindle (I think I actually won these like 2-3 years ago in the Erotica group on goodreads for some game or something I’d participated in). I remembered that The Haunted was ghost/human erotica and decided it sounded perfect for the mood I was in. For The Hunted, I just decided to go ahead and knock another really old book off my TBR. (Bonus points: both counted for my #RockMyTBR challenge!)

Who I’d recommend them to: Someone who isn’t all that picky about their erotica, and especially fans of paranormal erotica.

My rating (The Haunted): ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ (Maybe 2.75 stars)
My rating (The Hunted): ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ (2.5 stars)

The Haunted: Goodreads | Amazon        //        The Hunted: Goodreads | Amazon


What The Haunted is about:

The first in the Sleeping with Monsters series, about strong women and the monsters they love,The Haunted is a very hot modern take on gothic ghost stories.

Daphne Vance’s life is perfect — she’s a beautiful, devoted wife, and her husband has just bought her a vast countryside estate to start their family in.

But when her husband leaves on a business trip, it doesn’t feel like she’s alone in the mansion — she can feel eyes watching her, and hot hands trailing up her thighs. The domineering spirit of the mansion’s former owner is still present — and when she discovers her husband cheating on her, she doesn’t want to resist the Master anymore….


Review:

First of all, that line about Daphne’s life being perfect is a lie. (That’s not a huge spoiler because you realize how not-perfect her life is in the first page or two.) Her husband is gone all the time, and, honestly, he’s an ass. So what’s a lonely, young, new(ish) bride to do, all alone in her gigantic new manor, while her husband is away and not home putting a baby in her? Well, allow the resident ghost, known only as “Master,” to have his kinky way with her, of course!

Ok, all joking aside, I actually loved the idea of ghost/human sexy times. I haven’t read any PNR with that concept before, so it was a new and fun twist for me to read about. And, I’ll be honest, it got pretty dang hot a couple of times.

But, despite the amusing/interesting premise of this book, I didn’t love it. Maybe because my copy is so old, it’s since been updated and edited, but my copy needed a bit of work. There were some errors, maybe some typos, and a lot of sentences that just didn’t make a lot of sense without reading them multiple times (and some that never made sense). I found misused words a few times, too.

On top of that, there were a bunch of things not explained, and this one thing near the end that was totally unnecessary and just came out of the blue. (I won’t say what that thing was here, but if you want to know, I’ll probably put it in the spoiler tag on my goodreads review.) This is erotica, and it’s short, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy with having gaping holes in the plot. I don’t really read erotica for the plot, but I want what I read to make at least some sense. If you’re going to have something like a ritual to do a thing, I want a bit more explanation than simply telling me that a ritual happened and it involved x, y, and z, without any indication of how the person who did the ritual found out about it in the first place, etc. Ugh.

I never cared much at all about any of the characters. I think I liked the…uh…Ok, I can not remember what the servant dude’s name or actual occupation was, so I’m just going to say he was a butler. (I’m not 100% sure that’s accurate, but close enough.) Anyway, I liked him alright, but everyone else I was sort of indifferent about or deeply despised. Except the one drunken guy who tried to rape someone. I hated him and wished he’d died painfully. (More on this in the goodreads review spoiler tags.) I am never a fan of books in which the wife or whatever is desperate for a baby, but continues to hang on to her deplorable husband until he impregnates her, then plans to leave him. And that was a big part of this story. And while I’m fine with spreading the love and and someone having multiple sexual partners, it got a little weird in this one (especially with the desire for a baby thrown in). Like, I was cool with her sexing it up with her husband and the ghost, but then the gardener? (And the thing from the end that I’ll talk about on goodreads.) Passss.

Aside from my complaints, which might not bother other people, I actually did kind of like this one. It was a fun, super quick read (the book is only about 175 pages, so I read it in a day), and I was curious enough to continue on with The Hunted. However, I would still hesitate to recommend it, because of my aforementioned issues with the plot and need for more edits.


What The Hunted is about:

The second in the Sleeping with Monsters series, about strong women and the monsters they love, The Hunted is a BDSM-themed werewolf thriller.

As a call girl, Samantha never hoped for a happily ever after until she met Vincent. It didn’t matter that he was a mobster, for seven years their life was perfect – then he was betrayed and brutally gunned down by other members of the family. Now she’s on the run for her life, and the only thing she has to remember Vincent by is a silver locket with the phone number of a stranger folded inside.

Max is a queer mountain man — and a werewolf. For seven years he’s been living off the grid in exile after his pack threatened his then-boyfriend Vincent’s life. But when Vincent’s dying wishes send the beautiful Samantha to him for protection from the family, he knows what he has to do – honor his dead alpha’s wishes and keep her safe, no matter what.

In her grief, Samantha’s willing to do anything to get revenge, which Max tries to talk her out of – until he realizes his old pack was complicit in Vincent’s death. Then he’s as eager as she is — but they only have each other against the pack.

Is she strong enough to mate with him? And if she is, is he strong enough to kill them all?


Review:

I’m going to go ahead and say that I liked this less than The Haunted, and I’m considering lowering my star rating to 2/5 instead of rounding the 2.5 up to 3 stars.

This one has a bunch of time jumps and perspective shifts that took me over half the book to get used to, and I didn’t like the way it was written. I’m not a huge fan of multi-POV, even when it’s only two, anyway, but this one was really frustrating because it literally just repeated exactly what I’d just read from the other person’s POV, with an additional sentence or two added of their reaction or whatever. I ended up skimming over those after a few of them because it was boring for me to re-read the same thing again.

I didn’t really care much at all about any of the characters in this one, either. I’ll also say that the premise for this one was more boring for me, because I’ve read some shifter erotica and PNR before, so the whole, “Ermahgerd, she’s my mate! Must mount and claim! No, wait, she’s human, ugh, what to do? What to do?!” thing isn’t new for me and I kind of dislike it. A lot. Even when the “mate” is totally on board.

This one also suffered from not explaining things that were very important to the plot, apparently, like the werewolf knot thing. What the hell was it? More descriptive terms, please. Draw me a verbal diagram because what I imagined was probably not the thing the author envisioned, and seemed not only painful but kind of gross.

I don’t even know what to say about the whole, “My long-term boyfriend whom I loved deeply just died, but that’s ok, I can totally mate with his ex two days later!” thing that was going on in this book. It’s like insta-love on a whole new level, but also with insta-sex.

Speaking of the sex… What went down in The Haunted was way hotter, in my opinion, than this one. I’m fine with people using sex like a drug to escape for a while, but it was kind of boring in this one.

And I didn’t really like the “wolf thoughts” in this book. I’ve read some other shifter/were erotica and PNR that let us into the mind of the wolf side of the character, but this one creeped me out and had me rolling my eyes a lot. Not a fan.

 

Ok, I’ve decided that I am going to lower my rating for this one to 2/5 stars. The more I think about it, the less I liked it. I wouldn’t recommend this one. It just had too much going on, needed more editing, and kind of bored me.

(A very tardy) February Wrap-Up

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February wasn’t a fantastic reading month for me in numbers, but it was still pretty great because I think I finally broke the hold of the slump that I’d been in for a really long time. It was also a good month because I loved–or at least liked–each book I read.


Saga by Brian K. Vaughan  has been on my TBR for ages, and I absolutely loved it. I gave it 5/5 stars and won’t shut up about it. I didn’t really review it, but it was my pick for last week’s Must Read Mondays post.

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston was an ARC I was lucky enough to get from goodreads, and you’ll be hearing more about it (again) soon. I did review this one, here, if you’re interested in knowing more about it and what I thought. I gave it 5/5 stars.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth was a re-read for me, and I actually listened to the audiobook. It had been a while since I’d read it, and I really wanted to finally finish the trilogy. I didn’t love it or hate it, but I thought it was good. It got 3.5/5 stars, but rounded down to 3 on goodreads, and I thought the audiobook was nice.feb wrap up

Allegiant by Veronica Roth is a book I have dreaded reading since it came out. Everyone was angry about it, and I wasn’t sure I would ever finish it. But I did, and I actually liked it. I know, I know, I’m in the minority with that opinion, but I really didn’t mind the ending. *shrugs* I gave it 3.5/5 stars, also, but rounded this one up to 4 on goodreads.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer was another book I won in a giveaway from goodreads, and I’m still figuring out how I feel about it. I did like it, but I’m not sure if I would have liked it more or less if I’d known more about Amy Schumer before I started it. I reviewed it here, if you want to know more. I gave it 4.5/5 stars (it’s so weird rating memoirs), but rounded down to 4 stars on goodreads.

And then there was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, and I might have actually died a little a few times as I read it. I gave it 5/5 stars, and would gladly give it more if I could. If I can ever stop screaming about it (and Crooked Kingdom, which I’ve just finished), I’ll review it. But right now, I’m basically living like this: oxnxq


I did pretty well with meeting my #RockMyTBR Challenge goal (reading at least one book that’s been on my shelf/Kindle for a year or more) this month, because Saga and Allegiant have been sitting on my shelf for probably 2-3 years now.

For the New Year’s Resolution Book Tag, I also crossed Six of Crows off, and made it to 10/12 books for my goal this year. (I set a very modest goal to help take pressure off so I could get back to enjoying reading.)


And that was my February, in books read and goals met!

 

How was your February?

#RockMyTBR Challenge

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Hosted by The YA Book Traveler, this challenge is meant to motivate us to read the books already published, instead of ARCs and such.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of books I’ve neglected (some for well over 10 years, eek!) in favor of newer releases and ARCs.

I don’t think I’ll try to read specific books for this challenge, but I will list a few I’m thinking about because they’ve been on my shelves way too long. I’ll be keeping track of the books I read for this challenge on a goodreads shelf.

My goals:

  • Read at least one book per month that’s been on my shelf at least a year

OR

  • Read at least one Kindle book purchased over a year ago

 

Some of the books I’m considering for this:

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullun  16130398

24817626 Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Cinder by Marissa Meyer 11235712

33 The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (I knooow! I’ve started it several times, but it intimidates me!)

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty 179780

17331828 Talon by Julie Kagawa

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood 13590839

2227486 V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 8120173

18007564 The Martian by Andy Weir

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 2213661

 

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I’m not sure if I can count it, since I read it before I
knew about this challenge, but I finally read The Pearl by John Steinbeck this month. It’s been on my shelf for probably 12 years, and I’d already decided late last year that I wanted to start reading more of the books I’ve had for ages. So, I’m counting it anyway.

 

 

 

I feel everyone and their grandmother has read most of these, and I’m one of the last to read them. But, if you also haven’t read one/some of these, and you’re interested in reading any of these books together, let me know. I love buddy-reads!

 

Have you read any of these? Which do you think I should read first?