Tag Archives: book ban challenge

Book Ban Check-in #4

All right, so it has been two weeks, and it’s time to chat. First off, I didn’t buy ANY books these past two weeks. Not a single one. The downside? Didn’t read as much as the previous weeks (classes have been mental, so so so crazy). In fact, let’s look at the pathetic number of physical books I read:

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Yeah, only four. I’m a little sad by this as well. If it’s any consolation, I really liked all four books I read? Part of why this number is so low is because I went on a bit of a graphic novel binge at the library and I mostly read those for the last few weeks. If you haven’t read Y: The Last Man and you love Brian K. Vaughn’s other works? Get on that. Such a rewarding and amazing series from start to finish. Also reads some Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi and I am loving where that series is going, and for my exercise routine I finally managed to finish up Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith, which I enjoyed quite a bit and I thought the narrator for the audiobook was pretty fabulous.

Anywho, I made friends with the library. It meant I didn’t do as good a job on the TBR pile. Let’s go through what was read:

Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe – I was a part of the blog tour for this one. Check out my my review!

Batwoman: To Drown the World by by J.H. Williams III, et al. — I LOVE the direction that Batwoman is being taken in. This particular instalment was broken up into various points of view, all on one subject matter and the events leading up to it. Kate Kane seriously doesn’t get enough love and I think she tries so hard to use her best judgement in tough situation. Seriously, I love her, I love her backstory, buuuut… I wanted a bit more from this. I’m looking forward to how the story will advance in volume 3. 4/5 Stars.

The Metro Dogs of Moscow by Rachelle Delaney — LOVED THIS BOOK. Rachelle Delaney has an insane knack for writing animals to BE ANIMALS, yet have a good blend of being animals and having emotions. J.R is such a cutie and it was great to finally read his first adventure (I had read The Circus Dogs of Prague first as part of a blog tour). Also POOR PIE! Poor, poor, Pie. He ran into some heartbreaking troubles in this book. I hope Rachelle writes another book in this series because it’s such a great series for younger readers. 4/5 Stars.

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn  — My first Sharon Shinn book and for sure it won’t be my last. Admittedly, I wasn’t too sure about this book, but overall I enjoyed it. I think Shinn has some beautiful prose that borderlines on purple-ish at times.The female characters were absolutely wonderful in this book, but I oddly didn’t find myself connected to any of the men (in fact, they were pretty dull or too full of themselves for my tastes). I thought how the elements were handled were interesting, though I’m a bit bored with fantasy novels were the elements are the defining aspect to either the characters or the world. Still, I think I’ll definitely be checking out more of her books in the future (especially because I’ve heard Mystic and Rider is fabulous). 3.5/5 Stars.

Ebooks Read:

All three were ARCs this time…

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz — You won’t get to read my review of this book for quite sometime, but if you love gritty, realistic fiction, this one shines. Etta has the perfect voice, she’s got enough troubles, and she felt so real. I’m not going to score this one, you’ll just have to wait for then the review appears! But seriously, ADD IT TO YOUR TBR! I want to read all of Hannah Moskowitz’s books now thanks to this one.

Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger — Not spoiling this one either, but check back on October 27th because that is when the review will be going live.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater — It was perfect, perfect, perfect.

Number of books bought on the ban: 9 (None purchased these last two weeks, I blame Word on the Street for me failing!)

Number of (owned) books read on the ban: 26

Well, the book ban officially ends on November 3rd, so I hope to get more of my own books read within that time. Two more weeks doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but I hope I can make a decent sized dent in the pile. I’m going to try for the month of November to keep cutting back the book purchasing, though it may be hard with the Inspire! Book Fair happening in a few weeks (which I will be there!). Keep cheering me on, I hope to keep the pace going, especially because November is going to be a mess and reading time is definitely going to take a big hit thanks to all the tests and assignments coming up. We shall see! Wish me luck.

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Book Ban Check-in #2

It’s been two weeks since my last update! And well, I’ve read quite a bit (shocking, I know). I may have bought two books during the ban (but I bought them with gift cards! That doesn’t count!) and I’ve already owed my husband $10 to his Extra Life fund. If I buy more, and let’s face it, I have a few more opportunities where this could happen, he could end up with more money. 😛 There’s still lots of time to Donate if you’re interested. Remember! All the proceeds go to help children in need get their treatments. Any who, on with the books!

Bx7kOLrIAAAkBh0Here’s the physical books I read, but I also read quite a bit more than this through ebooks (ARCs in particularly!). I’m going to link the reviews for some of them, so if your curious you can read a more in depth thought process. So let’s chat a bit shall we?

Physical Books Read:

Bronze Bods by A.A Agurrie – So I liked this book! However, it reminded me at times of being too much like the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, which I adore. I think the characters and the world was really great, and the addition of the fae characters was an interesting touch, but as a mystery story it did fall flat for me. I still definitely think I’m going to grab the second book from the library, I just wish this book had felt more distinctive for me. I think it’s a ball of fun and the writing is fantastic, I just hate that it had felt like something I had read before and had seen done better. I will admit, I did have a huge girl crush on Ritsuko. She’s a babe. 3.5/5  Stars.

Black Canary/Zatanna: Bloodspell by Paul Dini, Joe Quinones – I thought this was an insanely fun cross-over comic, especially because Zatanna is either written so poorly or because people simply forget her existence. I also couldn’t pass this comic up because it was written by Paul Dini and he does some of my favourite portrayals in the Batman universe. Also Black Canary is pretty hilarious in this book! 4/5 Stars.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein – Early this year I’ve been revisiting Shel Silverstein’s works to see if they still hold up. I never owned any of his books as a child and now I own them all thanks to family and friends. This one I thought was so pretty and even a touch creepy at times. There is something so beautiful strange about his work and this one I recommend highly. 5/5 Stars.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – Review!

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender – I thought this book would be entertaining and humorous and it just wasn’t fun to read at all. I also finished it because it was the only book I had on me for my bus ride and I found myself just unamused and annoyed. Everything is too easy in this book and I thought the whole serial killer thing would be better woven in and it just wasn’t. 1/5 Stars.

Hold Still by Nina LaCour – OMGNEWFAVOURITEBOOK. I sobbed like a big baby through this book. It’s smart, it’s sensitive, and just wonderfully thought provoking. I am buying this book for every person I know because it just resonated with me from start to finish. 5/5 Stars.

E-books Read:

The Swallow: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter – Review

Firebug  by Lish McBride – Review!!

Number of books bought on the ban: 2

Number of (owned) books read on the ban: 10


I admit, I feel bad that the blog has MOSTLY been reviews, but the reality is that River and I have been insanely busy. HOWEVER! There is a giveaway planned (coming soonish) and we will definitely have some event wrap ups for you guys based on some bookish events we’ve gone to recently, and I hope to have a few other kinds of posts (perhaps a Waiting on Wednesday, a Book Chat, or may be even Top Ten Tuesday) in the future too. Since River and I are starting new steps in our lives we’re trying to also get our blogging back in order too. I hope you’ll all stick with us and we’ll do our best to perhaps vary the content a bit more. Hope you guys are at least getting new recommendations out of the reviews! 🙂

And there will be another Book Ban Update in another two weeks! Let’s see if I can do it.

Book Ban Check-in #1 + Extra Life Info!

So I declared the months of September and October to be book buying ban month because I spend too much money on books. I love them, I can’t help it, But it’s becoming a problem when your backlog is pushing 500+ books. Let’s face it, it’s a problem! So the goal is to cut back for two months and see if I can keep it up. The punishment for buying books these next two months? I am donating money to Extra Life, which I’m also participating in.

Before I get to what I read for the first week of the ban, I want to briefly talk about Extra Life, which is a charity event that raises money to help children’s hospitals all over the world get the funding they need for research, provide treatments for patients, etc. I’ll be playing video games for 24 hours straight on October 25th, and I could use the support. Feel free to donate any amount you want as ALL PROCEEDS go to children’s hospitals. I’ll be playing for SickKids Hospital here in Toronto, and I could use all the support possible to make sure I reach my goal (or even go over my goal!) to help kids out. Please consider supporting me in this endeavour! DONATE! PLEASE!

So where does Extra Life and punishment fall into things? Well, if I buy books, I have to donate $5 for each book I bought to my husband’s Extra Life page (since we’re doing it together). So he will want you guys to get me to buy books! SO TEMPT ME! (No, please don’t!) But yes, please consider helping this blogger out. I know it’s not bookish, buuuuuut… help a gal out?


 

Okay, so let’s talk about the books I read during the ban.

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This week I managed to complete three books (no eBooks this week it seems, but for sure next time). Here’s the books!

Sparkers by Eleanor Glewwe — You’ll see a review for this closer to the date, but this was a great middle grade read, though a few flaws kept it from being amazing for me. Really strong characters in this book, lovely prose. Worth checking out if you love fantasy that focuses on social issues. 3.5/5 Stars.

Wildwood by Fiona Wood — AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING. OMGAMAZING. Review coming VERY soon, but check this one out when it releases if you love contemporary books with tough issues. ❤  5/5 Stars.

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott — I wanted to love this more than I did. The historical information in this book is fascinating and fantastic, but the characters in this book were horrible and had no layers or dimensions to them. I needed more to work with, and this just didn’t do it for me. 2/5 Stars.

Expect lots of reviews this week, because September seems to have all the releases. River and I are doing our best to keep up, so who knows how many we’ll get through. There’s a blog tour also showing up this week for The Art of Getting Stared At by Laura Langston, and if you love contemporary, that is a book you need to check out ASAP when it releases. Fantastic book!

The September & October Book Ban Challenge!

All right, so I had amazing lucky back in April and May with not buying an books. As soon as my book buying ban was up, I went a little crazy with the book buying. In that two  month span I read fifteen physical books (and that was not counting the ARCs that I read). So I’ve decided to do another two months of no book buying! Why? Because sometimes it’s good to widdle the backlog down so more.

However, there is going to be a catch. For starters, I will allow you readers of the blog to select from my TBR what I should read during the challenge. However, keep in mind: you can only pick one book, and if I do not own it, you need to select a different one. If the book is labelled ‘to-find’ it means I don’t have it! So check out my TBR on Goodreads and select ONE book from it that I should read during the ban. Leave your picks for me in the comments! 🙂

The second challenge is, I’m going to try and work in a few Stack of Fives here and there, but I’m not sure how that will work yet. It may be a case of as I feel like it, I’ll toss up onto twitter five books and the one with the most votes will be read in the challenge.

I’ve also decided I am not limiting this challenge to physical books, so ARCs, eBooks, audiobooks, anything that’s in my backlog is free game. My goal is simply to see how much I can read without buying more books. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but I think I can manage it. If YOU want to join in the fun, let me know and we’ll see if we can’t make an event out of it.

Book Ban – Completed!

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Not all of the books I read are featured here. 😦

So the book ban finished on the 1st of June, but I was away from my computer then. In fact, I was still in Disney World, the happiest place on earth (and I had a great time). Honestly this was a great experiment and I only broke my ban once (for the low price point of $3 to support Melissa Giorgio’s newest release, which I then read and nearly threw my Kindle because that ending broke my heart). I did successfully read fifteen books, but I failed to diversify a lot of what I read, but truthfully I don’t care.

I succeed at my goal and I made a dent my physical backlog which was the important thing. I’m not going to go into intense detail about what I completed but you can see what I finished on this Goodreads shelf.

Overall this was a positive experience to blog about. I was motivated and I proved to myself that I could avoid the temptations of getting all the books from the library or buying all the books at the store. Since the ban was lifted I only bought one new book (The last of the Never series by Lesley Livingston) and I’ve managed to not buy anything else. I did go the library and I took out ten books, but I’m actually going to pace my reading of those ten books (I’ve read all the graphic novels so seven books to read!). I want to keep this up though and just keep pushing through what I own. I will get better with this, but the big thing is pacing one’s self. If I had all the money in the world, I’d support authors, but it’s not the most viable reality at this moment, so the library has been very helpful as has galleys.

I want to see if I can push through and knock out more from my backlog. At some point then I want to go and sell off/donate more of my books, especially the ones I know I’m not going to read again or loan out. Those books need a good home too, y’know?

I definitely think I will do this again next year. Book bans are hard, but can be successful if it means you’re working through your backlog and finding what you love and what you’re okay with parting with.

Hope you all enjoyed reading my progress. I would love to hear other people’s stories of how they dealt with book bans or restraining themselves from spending all the money at the book store.

Bout of Books 10.0 Update & Book Ban Check-in #3

Hey everyone, it’s time for two kinds of check-in posts! Let’s start with…

BoB10-200x200Bout of Books 10.0 Readathon!

Progress:

Currently Reading: 

– The Chaos of Stars, by Kiersten White

Books Completed: 

– Take Me On by Katie McGarry (544 pages)

– The Blue-Haired Boy by Courtney C. Stevens (71 pages, eNovella)

– The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (280 pages)

Total Pages Read: 895 pages.

Not a bad start to the readathon considering I had guests visiting from Scotland for the last ten days. I don’t know when I’ll be updating again (probably at the end of the readathon), but so far I’m having a lot of fun and I’m crazy proud of myself for knocking out a big chunker like “Take Me On.” I’m hoping to finish “The Chaos of Stars” soonish and also start “The Divided”by Elise Chapman (which releases at the end of the month along with “Take Me On”!). Hopefully, I enjoy it — I wasn’t as huge on the first book, but maybe the sequel will improve what I didn’t like.
But we’ll see how much I get done. I’ve also got a new review game on my plate for RPGamer.com so I need to make that a priority as well (and I’m a slow game reviewer to boot!)
Book Ban Update #3
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(Still not featured but completed, For the Win by Cory Doctorow)
Newly added to this challenge: 
Cress by Marissa Meyer: This is my new favourite in the series. I’m not going to spoil anything from it, but just read it. READ IT. SO GOOD. FIVE STARS!
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab: I am so sad we aren’t seeing another book in this series. I took my time with this book and devoured it pretty slowly. I just get so into Scwab’s worlds and characters and I think I liked this book more than The Archived. FIVE STARS!
Summer Days, Starry Nights by Vikki VanSickle: A beautifully written middle grade that takes place in the 60s. I loved this book. I was so into the characters and Reenie’s story was so beautiful, heartbreaking and thrilling to read about. If you haven’t read any books by Vikki VanSickle, you should — she does a good job at giving you some warm and fuzzies. FIVE STARS.
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner — It’s weird but I have so many people rave about this book and I thought it was… just all right. Pretty dull for a good chunk of the book and then all of a sudden the last fifty pages gets its mojo going and I found myself glued to the pages. I love fantasy, but I need more than just a slow burn sometimes to get me engaged. THREE STARS!
There will be an update for the end of Bout of Books 10.0 on Monday, but as for the book ban, well, I’m in Disney when it ends, so you won’t see an update for that until after I return home.
What are you all reading right now? Any new favourites as of late?

Book Ban Check-in #2

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(Missing: For the Win by Cory Doctorow because my spouse stole it back!)

Welcome to another installment of my adventures in book ban-land. This week as you can see the pile only grew slightly, as within two weeks I only read three books from my TBR that were not ARCs. If you are curious about the previous check in you can read that here.

Tally stands at: 1 middle grade book / 5 young adult books / 1 adult book. Total books is currently: 7/15 (though obviously I’m going to try and read more!)

Interestingly, I’m close to finishing The Unbound by Victoria Schwab, which I am completely in love with. Victoria Schwab really has a way of taking readers away and just keeping them engaged, and I just, I need to know what happens, darn it. I’m also 50% into The Soul Healer by Melissa Giorgio, which I cannot count for my book ban because it was the one book I bought during the ban. I have not bought ANY OTHER BOOKS, which means I’m doing good. Also Soul Healer is made of perfection as well! (Evan, why you so naughty? WHY?)

Okay, so let’s get into the books I added:

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway: This is a book I read with River, as I bought it for her as a birthday present. It’s one I got for five bucks at Chapters and it may have been the best five bucks I’ve spent in awhile. The story is hilarious, Benway’s choice of music brought me back to my high school years when River and I met, and all the bands we as a group were listening to. It reminded me of the years when we were burning CDs for each other, mailing letters, anime, the works. I was very nostalgic through the book, and it reminded me how talented Robin Benway is because she creates characters with distinctive voices, and they are often characters you never forget. Audrey made me laugh so much and she was great to be in the head space of. I ended up giving this book 4 Stars.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S King: So I can say with confidence that I’m pretty close to having read all of King’s books that are currently out. This book was a Printz Honor Winner and was also the pick for the #WednesdayYA book club hosted by Misty @ The Book Rat and Liz of Consumed by Books. It was an awesome choice, and King is such a fabulous writer. Reading this book I completely understood why she won the Printz Honor, because Vera and Charlie as so memorable and the multiple perspectives used oddly worked well (though not perfectly). There’s a lot of dark humor in this book, and the mystery element is very intriguing. Vera’s decision to protect Charlie in a lot of ways is not normal, but it makes for interesting story telling. I also loved her dad, and I totally understood a lot of his motives, and now have crazy appreciation for flow charts. Loved this book and gave it 4 Stars as it still doesn’t beat Everybody Sees the Ants or Ask the Passengers for me.

Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballentine & Tee Morris: I am not going to say a lot of this book as it’s a third in a series, but my goodness, if you haven’t read Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, you really should. Books and Braun are fantastic characters and they get into wacky steampunk adventures. This one features Telsa and Edison! Automatic 5 Stars! (No seriously, the book in hilarious, action-packed and very fun).

And there you have it for this second check-in. It’s a bit pathetic, but I am hoping to have more of my own books read. Should be interesting because May is a month of friends visiting, a family member’s wedding, and going to Disney World. Yeah, May is crazy, but I will do my best to try and sneak in a few more from my personal TBR. Providing ARCs and review games don’t destroy me as well.

Happy Monday and the next check-in will be in two weeks! 🙂