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 ❤

Advertisements

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 😛

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?

T5W: Big Books

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.

November 7th: Largest Books on TBR
— In honor of #TomeToppleReadathon coming back this month, discuss those big books on your shelf!

It’s been over a month since I did a T5W, eek :/ I might get a post up later this week for updating.

In the meantime, in no particular order, here are some of the biggest books on my TBR that are probably highest priority for me. (This list will probably be different from my official Tome Topple TBR, but we’ll see.)


The Witches: Salem, 1692


The Witches: Salem
1692 
by Stacy Schiff– Ok, my copy has 498 pages, but I’m still going to be reading this for Tome Topple because other editions have like 510-515 pages, and (in my opinion) 498 is close enough, especially for non-fiction.

 

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

 


The Diviners
by Libba Bray– I think this 578 page book has been on my TBR for Tome Topple at least twice. I’ve had this book way, way, way too long without reading it.

 

 

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness– At just under 600 pages, this will be one of my biggest re-reads ever, I think. I read the first 2 books in the All Souls Trilogy, but then it took me years to get all of them, so now I have to re-read those so I can finally finish them all.

 

House of Leaves
House of Leaves 
by Mark Z. Danielewski– Just over 700 pages of “I’m not sure I’ll ever actually finish this.” I’ve tried (and failed) several times. This is a book I really wish was available in other formats. I get why it’s not going to work as an audiobook, and as an ebook it would probably be a nightmare. If it were available in large print, though, I probably could have finished it by now. The text is just too damn small for me to read more than a page at a time >.<

 

Villette

Villette by Charlotte Brontë– I’m pretty sure this 570-ish page tome has also made my Tome Topple TBR in the past. I’d really like to dive into it this winter, so I’ll probably save this one until after NaNoWriMo is finished.

 

 


I have a lot of big books on my shelves/Kindle, but these are the ones (at this moment) I’d really like to get to soon-ish.

What are some big books on your TBR?

Tome Topple Plans + TBR

I’m kind of addicted to read a thons and reading challenges, but few get me as excited as Tome Topple, and I am so ready (haha, no, I’m not) for the next round!

If you’re not familiar with it, Tome Topple is a read a thon that usually happens a couple times a year(ish) that was created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes over on YouTube.

Unlike a lot of read a thons, the goal isn’t to read as many books as you can. Instead, it’s to tackle “tomes” (books over 500 pages). Here’s the announcement video for this round if you want to check it out to learn more. There’s also a Tome Topple twitter, and a goodreads group!

This round of Tome Topple begins June 29th and ends July 12th.

Honestly, I’ve kind of failed at Tome Topple in the past :/ But, I’m still going to try this time around, and just hope I make it through at least part of one book by the end. 

There are mini-challenges during Tome Topple, but I don’t know if I’ll do any. I have a couple of books that would count for “part of a series,” and most of them are “adult books,” so I might get to cross off one of those.

I still haven’t decided 100% what my book (or books) will be, but I’ve narrowed it down from a list of like 30 books. I decided to try to only pick a book (or books) that I’ve owned since before this year, and then I narrowed the list down more by figuring out which ones I’ve wanted to read the longest and/or heard the most good about.

That…barely thinned down the list, honestly haha. (I also passed on a couple of non-fiction books I have, but I’ve owned both since last year, so…I might decide to pick one of those up later.)

If you’re doing TT and want to buddy read one of these, let me know! (That’s one of the mini-challenges.)

My TBR Choices

(AKA books I’ll be picking from literally as soon as I start reading, because trying to pick one before that will result in me having no desire to read it by the time the read a thon begins :/ )

 

Kindle books

  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (a re-read)

 

Physical books

1530233690761-01

Villette by Charlotte Brontë; The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; The Diviners by Libba Bray; The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


I meant to have this scheduled and posted way earlier today, but stuff came up and I’m only just finishing this post at 9PM, eek. Only three more hours until Tome Topple begins, yay!

Happy reading, and good luck to anyone participating 🙂

May Wrap Up + Book Haul

may wrap up

 

May was a surprisingly good reading month for me, but I’ve fallen behind on reviewing things. I read 15 books, but most of those were short (poetry collections). However, I did, finally, make it through East of Eden, which I started waaaay back for Tome Topple.

 


Books read:

(All covers link to goodreads)

34884865

 

I Am More Than a Daydream by Jennae Cecelia– A collection of poetry I gave 4.5/5 stars.

 

33407980

 

Burntown by Jennifer McMahon– I had an ARC of this, and reviewed it. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

 

33833094

 

Tell Me Where it Hurts by J.R. Rogue– A very emotional, raw poetry book. I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

34945904

 

Poems I Found in My Closet by Evette Blue– More poetry. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

 

12189593

 

Growth by Karin Cox– Poetry. I gave it 2.5/5 stars.

 

 

21873689

 

the three o’clock in the morning sessions by Angie Martin– Yep, more poetry. I gave this one 3/5 stars.

 

386162

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams– This was a re-read, and I gave it 4/5 stars again. I love this series, but for some reason I don’t “5/5 stars” love the first couple of books in the “trilogy in 5 parts.”

 

29425109

 

Mad Woman by Kat Savage– Poetry again (are you seeing the pattern yet? :P), which I gave 5/5 stars and it landed Kat Savage on my list of favorite poets. I reviewed it, too.

 

34335011

 

love, and you by Gretchen Gomez– Yep, another lovely book of poetry. I gave it 5/5 stars and can’t wait to see what else Gretchen writes. Reviewed here.

 

8695

 

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams– The second Hitchhiker’s Guide book, which was also a re-read and got 4.5/5 stars.

 

30319086

 

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio– AKA “The Book I WILL NOT SHUT UP ABOUT” because I freaking loved it and am now obsessed. 5/5 stars, reviewed here.

 

883438

 

East of Eden by John Steinbeck– The tome I did not topple during the read a thon, but finally finished. I gave it 4/5 stars and it also counted for #RockMyTBR, yay!

 

16142373

 

Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood– Short stories, which I will possibly be reviewing eventually. I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

24612118

 

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff– This was on my TBR before it released, and I really enjoyed it. I reviewed it, and gave it 4/5 stars.

 

34114202

 

Throes by Kat Savage– The last book, and another collection of poetry. I also gave this one 5/5 stars.

 

 


Book Haul!

Full disclosure: Not all of these are mine (my book obsession might be contagious, so husband might have caught it), but I’m including the ones that aren’t exactly/exclusively mine anyway because I know I’ll be reading them.

DSC_0300.JPG

From left to right: Hamlet (this edition ❤ ); The Girl on the Road; NW; The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden; Welcome to Night Vale; The Divine Comedy; Furiously Happy; Fates and Furies; The Beautiful and Damned; This Side of Paradise; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; love, & you; Simulacra; La Douleur Exquise; Mad Woman; Redamancy; Throes; Good Bones and Simple Murders; and the boxed set of Time Lord Fairy Tales.

I’m not including my Kindle books because this post would take about 5 days to assemble if I did that :/ (I might have purchased, like, 20 Agatha Christie ebooks…and a bunch of others…because for some reason May was the month of book sales…)

Last month was ridiculous, and I never buy this many books. Like, there have been spans of two years when I haven’t bought this many books. But seriously, the sales. It was unbelievable. I got so many books for less than $2, and, like I said, they’re not all technically mine.

Tome Topple Read-a-Thon: Half Point Update

DSC_0051 (3)

Ok, so the halfway point was yesterday, and I’m late, but I’ve been ill most of this week and really dropping the ball with basically everything, including blogging :/ Oops.

The Journey So Far:

I started with The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. This book has been on my shelf for well over a decade, and I’ve tried to read it at least half a dozen times. I never made it beyond about page 5. This time, I tried the audiobook and alternated between reading and listening. I made it about 100 pages in and decided I hate the book and will never finish it. It’s now permanently shelved “DNF” and I’m unhauling it whenever I can make it to a used bookshop.

Then I moved on to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. This one has been on my TBR for, well, basically forever, but I’ve only owned three copies. Yeah, only three copies. One was a Kindle freebie, though. Anyway, I’ve tried to read this more times than I can count and never made it more than about 10 pages in. I finally picked up the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, which I really enjoy, but I’ve still only made it to page 43. Ouch. I think I’m just not in the right mood, so I’m just going to try to get through it by the end of this year.

Finally, I picked up East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I’ve only read The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl, but I like Steinbeck’s style. I didn’t realize until recently that apparently liking his writing is an unpopular opinion. I was always under the impression that his writing was generally liked/loved. I’ve had the most success with this one, flying through a whopping 138 pages in the first 24 hours of reading it. I think I’ll actually finish this one by the end of the read-a-thon.

I might not finish multiple tomes this round, or even make it through a significant chunk of more than one, but I’m ok with that. My goal was to just get through as much of at least one book as possible, and I think I’ll succeed at that.


If you’re participating, how’s Tome Topple going for you?