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Winter Biannual Bibliothon 2018 – Jan.20th – 26th

It is time for the first round of the Biannual Bibliothon! The Winter 2018 challenges are up and I am determined I am going to be participating, even though I have a very busy work week ahead of me. The group book this time around is Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kristin Miller, which I am debating on picking up. I put a hold on the audiobook so if it comes in, awesome, if it doesn’t I won’t stress about it. Truthfully, I think I’m going to just stick to the main six challenges and if I have time to do the group book, I will. Here’s a visual look at my TBR for the event!

The Challenges:

  1. Read a book you’ve never heard of: Heartwood Hotel: True Home by Kallie George
  2. Read a sequel: Heartwood Hotel: Great Gift by Kallie George
  3. Read a book about mental illness: A List of Cages by Robin Roe
  4. Read a book mention in another book/movie/tv show: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (mentioned in Gilmore Girls!)
  5. Read a book under 200 pages. The Changeling by Sean Williams
  6. Read a backlist title: Palimpsest by C. M Valente (published in 2009)

 

Here’s hoping I can complete all of these by the 26th. Should be interesting. If you are participating in the Biannual Bibliothon, I’d love to know in the comments about what you are planning to read for the event.

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18 Books to Read in 2018

I seem to like to make all the reading goals. It’s a problem I have at the beginning of every year because I tend to get super excited over all the books. Since I’m likely moving this year, my large focus is going towards books I own and have in my possession though there’s a few books on this list that I’ve had a hold on at my library that are coming to be expired, so I should probably read those soon. Let’s dig into the eighteen books that I need to read this year or consider unhauling! I am hoping to do a round up of thoughts at the end of the year, even if they are quick little one liners. Let me know if you’ve read any of these in the comments below.

Salvage (Salvage #1)
by Alexandra Duncan (Released: April 1st 2014 by Greenwillow Books)
This was a book that back in 2015 my co-blogger, Molly, was completely over the moon for. Space adventures are usually more her jam compared to mine, but I do love books that take place in space and show the discomfort of the unknown. My friend, Melissa, gifted both and the sequel, Sound to me, and both books have been calling my name.
False Hearts by Laura Lam (Released: June 14th 2016 by Tor Books)
This was a book recommended to me by my friend, Katherine, who raves about Laura Lam’s works. I’ve read Pantomime and the sequel (but have somehow missed out on the third book, I suck at keeping up with series). This one is pitched as Orphan Black meets Inception — sounds engrossing!
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
by Jill Lepore (Released: October 28th 2014 by Knopf)
This book was recommended to me by my best friend years ago. It examines the origins of Wonder Woman’s inception and the polyamorous relationships that creator William Moulton Marston had. Could be intriguing, and it’s one of the few non-fiction titles on my list.
The Devil You Know
by Trish Doller (Released: June 2nd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens)
Recommended to me by my librarian friend, Liz, this is one of those books that I meant to get to when I had gotten it in the mail. I am a sucker for road trip stories, and this one may be a road trip filled with regrets. Should be fun fun fun times! (Or terrifying, which ever!)
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
by Stephanie Oakes (Released: June 9th 2015 by Dial Books)
I won this book in a giveaway back in 2015 and on the high of reading Jennifer Mathieu’s Devoted, picking this book up should have been a no-brainer. There is religious cults, murder, and intrigue. A thriller that I know once I do read, I’ll likely get sucked into without trouble.
Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8)
by Kevin Hearne (Released: January 26th 2016 by Del Rey)
I am trash for this series. I am also behind. I have work to do.
As Brave As You
by Jason Reynolds (Released: May 9th 2017 by Atheneum)
Hell, my name is Sam, and I am a Jason Reynolds fangirl. My goal is read every one of his books that has been released, and I don’t actually have many left. My colleague read this one and she said it made her feel so emotional. So yeah,a  typical Jason Reynolds book.
Sunny (Track #3)
by Jason Reynolds (Expected publication: April 10th 2018 by Atheneum)
See above. The Track series is amazing and you need to read it. RIGHT NOW.
Everything All at Once
by Katrina Leno (Released: July 25th 2017 by HarperTeen)
Katrina Leno is one of Molly’s favourite authors and since she has published three books, I have read zero of them. The worst part is I know I will adore them, though I have been warned that a lot of her writing might hit too close to home for me which is why I have avoided this one for awhile. However, this is the one I own, and this is the one I’m reading. I am hoping I love it.
Eliza and Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia (May 30th 2017 by Greenwillow Books)
This book was gifted to me at the last #FrenzyPresents event. It also looks like a book I would be head over heels in love with as it focuses on fandom, mental illness, and a lot of subjects that are near and dear to my heart. I’ve only heard positive things about this one and I am looking forward to giving it a read in 2018.
Far from the Tree
by Robin Benway (Released: October 3rd 2017 by HarperTeen)
It’s a new Robin Benway book, and I forgot it existed! I only remembered because it won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2017. I am made of fail, especially give my love of YA contemporary.
Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve #2)
by Marissa Meyer (Expected publication: January 30th 2018 by Feiwel & Friends)
I needed this sequel the moment I finished the first volume. It’s hard not to love the Lunar Chronicles universe, and I adore this cast. It’s also so wonderful to Iko to have her own story and this is just so well done. I hope I love volume two as much as the first.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
by Ashley Herring Blake (Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, gimmie more LBGTQIA+ middle grade fiction PLEASE. This one focuses on friendship, blossoming sexuality, and artwork. Between this and Herring Blake’s other release Girl Made of Stars, I really just need both right now.
Tess of the Road
by Rachel Hartman (Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers)
Hellllllllllloooooo new Rachel Hartman book with dragons. I LOVE Rachel Hartman’s fantasy novels, and Tess of the Road looks like it’s going to be quite the epic adventure. I need it now.
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children #3)
by Seanan McGuire (Released: January 9th, 2018)
2018 is the year I want to catch up on my Seanan McGuire books. I am behind on October Daye by two books, I’ve just caught up on InCrypid for the moment (then March will be another book and I will be behind again) and then there is this beauty, book three in the Wayward Children series. I can at least have that one completed this year, right? RIGHT?
Leah on the Offbeat
by Becky Albertalli (Expected Release: April 24th 2018 by HarperCollins)
Leah was one of my favorite characters in Simon vs the Homo-sapiens Agenda. I am interested to see what her story has in store. I can only hope it will be as fun and upbeat as Becky Albertalli’s other books.
Past Tense
by Star Spider (Expected Release Date: April 10th 2018 by HarperCollins)
I know nothing about this book other than it’s an LGBTQIA+ YA release. One of my wonderful publishing contacts thought that this would be a book I would enjoy, and I really hope she is right. It comes out in April, so I suppose I should get to this one soon.
In Search Of Us
by Ava Dellaira (Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
I enjoyed Love Letters to the Dead when it released, though I admit, I can’t entirely remember what it was about. This new release seems like it’s going to be very heartfelt, given it’s a mother/daughter story. I don’t know if I am emotionally ready for that, but I am going to try my best to not weep into a ball of goo.
Annnnnd these are my picks! I think this is overly ambitious, but this is me were talking about and I like to over extend because yay goals! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these, because I’d love to know which ones to prioritize. I think if I get through all the ones I own physically, my Shelf of Shame will thank me.

2018 Reading Goals!

I love making goals. In fact, I have a goals bullet journal that I use to keep myself on track. This journal encompasses all of my goals, which includes reading, of course! While I completed all of my main 2017 reading goals, any of the bookish events I did, I didn’t complete most of the time. However, I am perfectly okay with not having all my boxes checked. Maybe this year I’ll read some of those books I meant to… story of my life, right?

But in all fairness, I decided that this would be the year I tackle both my gaming and reading backlogs in a way that allows me to try and consume as much as I can. There’s going to be highs and lows, but that is the reality of having so much media to consume. I want to be able to pare down what I have and try to accumulate less if I can swing it. It’s going to be hard, but I know I can make a dent. This is why having the goals bullet journal is handy!

Anywho, here’s some of the goals I want to complete reading-wise in 2018.

  1. Read my own books – Yeah, this is a no brainer. I have too many books and two TBR shelves and I really need to work on reading my own books. Working at the library it is so easy to get caught up in ALL THE BOOKS that I end up bringing home more stuff and neglecting what I currently own. I need to stop doing that. This month I will finish what I have out and then going on a library ban (minus movies and comics). If I can find audiobooks at work for some of the books I own, that I will consider to be okay. Here’s my “Shelves of Shame.” I am hoping by March to do an update and show you guys if I’ve made any real progress.

2. Read 10 Non-Fiction books – As I have gotten older, I’ve been reaching for non-fiction more. I spent last year reading so many great non-fiction reads, so I want to continue exploring this genre further and see what else is in store for me.

3. Read 5 Books over 500+ pages – Also a doable goal. I am generally not huge on reading books over 500+ pages usually because I feel like they are pretty bloated. Still, I have series I have started with installments that are over the 500 page mark and need to be read. Again, totally doable goal.

4. Complete the 2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge – I LOVE the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. It is one of my favourite’s to do because it forces me to read a bit more diversely. I usually end up reading a lot of new favourites when I do this challenge. Since the year started, I’ve already knocked out two challenges. I’ll share my results at the end of the month with some thoughts!

5. Read 200 books.  – This is currently what my Goodreads goal is listed at. I finished almost close to 500 books (because I count comic trades) last year. I don’t think I’ll ever get that close again, but I sure as heck would like to try.

6. Unhaul books – If I am being honest regarding the shelves above, it is that I know I need to unhaul some items. Items I likely won’t read or have lost interest in. Frankly, I know I need to KonMari that shelf and see where it goes. I think it’s doable, especially since my husband and I are planning to move this year. I’ve been packing away stuff I know I am keeping, so I need to start looking at parting ways with stuff I may never read again or have no attachment towards.

7. Be content. – Reality is that reading is not a competition. It’s easy to get into that mindset. However, I read a lot because it’s just my passion. I love getting lost in a good book, and reading is a part of what I actually do for a living. If I don’t hit my goals, that is totally okay, If I do, even better. It’s trying to not be hard on myself if I don’t succeed and being content with whatever I actually manage.

Here’s to another successful year of reading!

Book Piles By the Month (Round 3!) – End of 2017 Edition

I am a bit late getting this up, but here are my last two book piles for 2017. November and December were fairly rough months for reading my own books. As I say frequently, it is so easy working at a library to just bring home items that pique your interest, so the bulk of my reading last year came more from work than my personal collection. This year, I do need to change that, but that is for a different post. Here’s how November and December shaped up!

November:

December:

I would say I am pleased with myself all things considered. In both those months I knocked out some hefty sized books and managed to read a variety of genres as well. In 2018 I really hope to try and knock out more books and see where things go from here. Hopefully the first few months have some nice-sized completed piles!

Five Favourite Books I Read in 2017 (That Weren’t 2017 Releases)

While I focused a lot of my reading energy on 2017 releases, I will say I had favourites that I read this year that came out past years. It’s hard to fit in reading time for older titles when there is so many new and shiny reads coming out and demanding your attention. It’s true and utter hardship, I tell you. However, I have five books I read this year that didn’t release in 2017 that I loved to pieces and want to recommend.

Crooked Kingdoms by Leigh Bardugo

Hello, my name is Sam, and I only just read the sequel to Six of Crows in the last week of November. Seriously though, THIS BOOK. There was so much drama, intrigue, failures, successes, discomfort — I was a ball of emotions reading it, particularly during one point where I sobbed like a huge baby. This duology is easily a favourite because it’s one of the few cases where I can say I loved the entire ensemble cast of characters and wanted to protect all my babies in one go. I maintain that Inej and Nina’s friendship may still be one of my favourite things about these books, but in all honesty, Crooked Kingdoms was just such a satisfying conclusion for me. Thanks for all the pain, Leigh.

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime was a book I picked up on a whim thanks to a friend and co-worker’s recommendation. This book looks at Trevor Noah’s life living in South Africa and being born to an African mother and Swiss father. Being mixed race in South Africa is considered a crime, and Noah leads up through all the lengths of what his family did to keep him safe, while also sharing amazing, if often sad stories of his life growing up. I LOVED this book, and it was one of those books that kept me wanting to read just one more chapter, and another and another. This is a great non-fiction read, and a great gate way into non-fiction if it’s something you don’t read very often or at all.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

This is a beloved book that has been floating around Booktube for along while. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel reading this book, but I am glad it was my companion for my cottage driving that I did. This book is full of magic, heartbreak, and is a true book lover’s book. The ending wrecked me while I was listen to the audiobook (a bad plan!), and admittedly I couldn’t stop thinking about this book as I listened to it, gasping in situations that surprised me, chatting to myself when something happened. I loved this book and it’s one I want to gift every person I know who loves books as much as I do.

The Collected Essex County by Jeff Lemire

My husband and I adore Jeff Lemire’s works. They are twisted, dark, psychological and just plain intriguing to read. Essex County has won numerous awards in Canada, and I felt it was finally time to check out why. Each of the three stories is gripping, uncomfortable, and simply difficult to read. Lemire doesn’t shy away from topics and his work tends to face challenges head on in ways that can be difficult for some readers. Regardless, I loved this book, and all his other books as well.

Purple Hibiscus
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When I grow up, I want to be as badass as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I want to put that out there. Purple Hibiscus was a eye opening read for me in terms of learning about Nigeria, family relations, and culture differences. It made it a hard read at times, but one that just offered so much clarity and insight. Plus her writing is simply gorgous, engaging and completely sucks you in. I still have a few more of her books to check out, but right now I am a huge fan.

I am always looking for new book recommendations, so please feel free to leave me some in the comments below. What were your favourite non-2017 releases you read this year?

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 Challenge – November Reads

November I am doing things a bit differently, partly because the two challenges I finished, I used ARCs to complete them, so they have full on reviews which I will link. I have exactly two challenges to complete in December, and I have picked the two books I am going to read for those challenges. We will see how well I do because I have so many books I want to knock out before the end of the year that have been calling to me. \

Anywho, here’s what was tackled in November.

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Completes Challenge #16: Read a banned book or frequently challenged book in your country.

Thoughts: I changed this challenge a little bit given that I’ve read so many challenged books that exist in Canada, and frankly there isn’t usually too many. So I decided I wanted to read a book about banned books and still count it for this challenge. Ban This Book by Alan Gratz is a great middle grade read that looks at banning books and what it does to education, and you can read my review here.

 


They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Completes Challenge #20: Read an LGBTQIA+ romance novel.

Thoughts: This book emotionally wrecked me and I feel like Adam Silvera is great at feeding on people’s tears. My best recommendation with this book is to make sure you have your tissue box handy, because the feels are going to come hard and fast. You can read my review here.

#TBRTakedown 6.0 & #TomeTopple TBRs

November seems to be the month of read-a-thons, which is awesome given I have such a strong desire to push through a lot of reads that I want to get to before the end of the year is up. Let’s be honest we have about a month and a half left of the year, and while I’ve read over 400+ books (remember I count comics!), I still have so many more titles I want to get to.

Enter #TBRTakedown and #TomeTopple read-a-thons. I’ve done both in the past and have enjoyed doing them immensely. #TBRTakedown 6.0 is being hosted by Shannon @ LeaningLights and is happening on Nov 18-22, 2017. The second is #TomeTopple, which is hosted by Samantha @ ThoughtsonTomes, and it runs from Nov. 17-30. The goal of Tome Topple is to tackle books over 500+ pages.

Here is my TBR for #TBRTakedown:

Here are the challenges that I am going to try and complete during the read-a-thon!

Oldest book on your shelf – Walking Home by Eric Walters

Most recent haul – Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Continuation in a series – The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland #5) by Catherynne M. Valente

First book in a series – Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (Theodosia Throckmorton #1)
by R.L. LaFevers

Out of your comfort zone – The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

And with #TomeTopple I am going to be counting The Librarian of Auschwitz as my ARC is over 500+ pages. If I finish that, then I am going to try and reach for another 500+ tome that is on my shelf. We shall see how this goes! Bit if you’re interested in either of these read-a-thons, check out Sam and Shannon’s channels for more.