Tag Archives: personal post

Reading Goals for 2017 – An Update

I thought it was time to share where I am at with my reading life in 2017. We’re already near the end of October, with only two more months left in the year, That is crazy pants. At the beginning of 2017 I made a list of goals in my bullet journal regarding what I wanted to read and how I wanted to read this year. Let’s see where I am at with these challenges.

  1. Complete or Catch Up on 10 Book SeriesStatus: Ongoing. — 8/10 series have been caught up or completed. I really should be doing better with this, but I’ve been in this mood in 2017 where I am really liking a lot of stand-alone titles. I do have some worlds though that I do want to dip back into. Hopefully this challenge gets completed before January 2018.
  2. Read 10 Non-Fiction BooksStatus: Completed. — This was a goal I didn’t think I’d achieve at all, but I’ve finally found areas of non-fiction that I love reading about, and I’ve even gone so far as to read more than ten non-fiction titles this year. Go team Sam!
  3. Read 5 Books Over 500+ pages. Status: Completed. — This was another challenge that had the potential of not happening and did. I generally do not like 500+ page books usually because I often feel like there’s a lot of padding that comes with larger novels at times. At this point I can say I’ve read seven 500+ page reads!
  4. Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge. Status: Ongoing. — Out of the twenty-four challenges, I have four challenges left and would love some recommendations for reads to complete them. I still need to complete: Read A Book Set in Central or South America; Read A Banned or Frequently Challenged Book in Your Country (I live in Canada); Read a Book in which a character of colour goes on a spiritual journey; and read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (this is the only one I have ideas for).
  5. 10 Books I Want to Read This Summer. Status: Ongoing(?) — I only read three books off this list, so it’s a bit of a failure. A part of me still wants to knock these books out. Here’s what’s on the list and I’d love to know if you have thoughts on any of them: Band of Mourning (Brandon Sanderson), A Face Like Glass (Frances Hardinge), The Lies We Tell Ourselves (Robin Talley), The Last Chinese Chef (Nicole Mones), Far Darkness Shows the Stars (Diane Peterfreud), This Monterous Thing (Mackenzi Lee), and The Hum & the Shiver (Alex Bledsoe)
  6. #ARCAugust Status: Nearly Complete! — I have exactly one title left on this list to complete which is Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

I have also completed my Goodreads Challenge which was to read 400 books. There is a lot of comics on that list and I used to feel guilty about putting them on there. Now? I don’t care and I think people should be able to count whatever they want since the goal ultimately is to just read. You can see my completed/ongoing list here.

Where are you at with your reading goals? Have you made any accomplishments? I’d love to know in the comments.

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An Adventure in Port Union

Hi everyone! I realize I’ve been fairly quiet on this blog lately. A lot of it has to do with my personal life and how busy I’ve been. I’ve been working on purging parts of my life in different ways, and I’m trying to work on dealing with my grief by doing different things that make me happy. Today, I went on an adventure to a beautiful waterfront park near where I live and my best friend and I took my dog for a long hike, seeing beautiful landscapes. I thought I’d share some photos from that wonderful experience.

During our walk we saw a “Ghost Bicycle.” I thought this was gorgeous looking, so I snapped this photo. I do wonder what the real story behind this is though.

Different shots along the park path of Lake Ontario on the East side.

Dakota having some fun swimming in Lake Ontario. She looks SO HAPPY. She is best dog after all.

Some important words of wisdom.

My little dirty girl.

And we had an amazing walk. Dakota was pooped and have a huge nap (except when she thought something was happening in the car, then she’d shoot up to look). This was such a calm and great experience for me. We walked nearly 10,000 steps and it was just so good to be next to the lake, staring out at the water and realizing how important these little moments truly are.

Bookstagram!

img_4741I have officially joined #bookstagram –> Follow me @tsukisuki

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts on twitter, I am kinda hurt by some of the recent things that have been happening in the blogging community. As I wrote about in my last post, I’m having a lot of conflicting thoughts about reviewing. This is mainly an ARC review blog, always has been. I started this blog when I left my fashion/lifestyle blog back in 2012. This blog wasn’t even a book blog until 2013. And I turned it into a book blog because I wanted a place to put my reviews.

Do I blog for ARCs? No. Did I used to talk about more bookish stuff on here? Not really. I do have an amazing coblogger who keeps up with original content. She is amazing and creative and just has more energy for this than I do. I love to review, and I love to read ahead. I LOVE LOVE LOVE building buzz for new books that are coming out. I love to feed the hype when it comes to books that I believe in. And I will miss doing that. But, as I said, I do miss reading whatever I want, when I want it. I often find myself putting off books that I want to read because I feel obligated to read ARCs. 

I am torn.

So for the rest of this year I am going to go on a reviewing hiatus. I might read some 2017 books, I might read some backlist. I might even write a review! But I’m only going to do what I FEEL LIKE. My coblogger is going to do the same. And we are going to enjoy it! And then after the new year I’m going to take a look at what I have, what I’m still getting, and how I feel. I might cut back on requesting and only review things for very certain people. I might decide that I REALLY miss it and go back to reviewing eARCs 100%. I DO NOT KNOW.

But I do know that I am feeling like I’m falling into a rut lately and that I want to do SOMETHING creative. Winter is coming and I always fall into these depressive funks and I don’t want to do that. So I’m going to do NaNoWriMo next month. And hopefully keep writing after that. But I have also, very suddenly, very randomly decided to start a bookstagram.

I honestly didn’t think that I would have the time or patience for bookstagram. A friend of mine started one recently and I really like it and felt inspired to do it, but then I kept looking at everyone’s bookstagram accounts and they have SO many followers and SO many gorgeous images and props and I just didn’t feel like I could compete. But then another friend was super encouraging and gave me some tips and here I am. So far I’ve been really enjoying taking minimalist shots with a lot of white background and editing the images. We’ll see where this goes, but I’m pretty excited about it.

So that’s where I am. Not abandoning this blog, not quitting, but taking a break from REVIEWING. That’s it. But please join me on bookstagram! I would really love your encouragement!

Thoughts on reviewing and where I want to go

Guys I have been so absent from this blog that if Sam wasn’t so good about updating it this space would surely be dead. But it’s not and I just can’t let go of it, but I have so many thoughts about blogging and reviewing, and I don’t know what I’m going to do, but i thought that I would at least write some of my thoughts out here and just… get it out.

So I haven’t seen anything official, but it looks like one of my biggest source of ARCs (and thus reviews) is going to stop sending out their monthly blogger packs to bloggers. This has me really upset on two fronts. First I’m just upset because I’ve heard all of this second hand and even when I reached out to the pub I didn’t hear anything back. I was consistently receiving ACRs from this pub for almost two years and I was reviewing almost every title they sent (that i had requested. Any extras or unsolicited I reviewed at my own digression). Second… I’ve spent a lot of time these past two years reviewing books for them! And not to just stop without a word… it hurts. I know that getting ARCs is a perk and that it’s not the reason that I blog or read, but it really helped. I’ve been able to freely read almost anything that I’ve wanted because of this and now I won’t be able to. Yes I can get all the same books digitally and review them there, but my kindle is old and dying and idk if I want to invest in a new one.

I haven’t fully decided yet but maybe this will be the end of my reviewing career. A part of me is a bit relieved… it’s getting tiring reading on a schedule. It’s getting exhausting forcing myself to read books because I feel obligated. It’s getting boring writing what I feel is the same review every time. I think, but I’m not fully sure, that I might quit requesting books and just review whatever is sent to me. If anything is anymore. And then just read what I want. I have friends who can get me ARCs if I ask, there’s trading on twitter, and I have a HUGE backlog of things that I want to read but always feel like I should read later, AFTER my review books.

I do still want to blog. I want to be more active on here and bring more than just reviews. I want to talk about books that I’m reading, to catch up on books that people have been telling me to read for YEARS. I want to support authors that I already love.

But who knows. I might change my mind and buy a new kindle and make a new schedule and read all of the eARCs or I might give up totally and just become a hermit that never posts on the internet again (haha yeah right). But for the end of this year I have decided to not focus on reviews, to not read on a schedule, and to do what I want. And hopefully that will mean ya’ll will hear from me more often on here than just twitter or instagram.

May Wrap Up and June Reading Goals~

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If you can’t tell from this picture, my reading mojo came back full force. It’s been over a month since my mother passed away and reading fell a bit on the wayside. As I was telling Molly, I just haven’t had the motivation for awhile to read, and now all of a sudden I just started flying through books again. I loved the majority of the books that I read above and I’m hoping June is equally a stronger month.

For June I want to do something different. My husband and I are planning to move in the fall and obviously my TBR shelf of shame is too huge to take with me. My goal between now and the fall is to read my own books and see how many of them I can knock out. This is where for the next few months I going to get you all to help me out. I asked on Twitter for people to come up with challenges for me.

Here’s June’s challenges:

  1. Read an Adult Fantasy novel
  2. A one-word title.
  3. A book that is has purple on the cover.
  4. A must-read Molly recommendation! (Night We Said Yes)
  5. An LGBTQIA+ read
  6. Read This Savage Song by V.E Schwab (because I’ve had it for awhile)
  7. Something by a Canadian author.
  8. A book with a dog in it or as the main character.
  9. Something sci-fi.
  10. Read something that has blue on the cover.

At the end of the month I will let you all know if I accomplished these challenges, as well as share all the physical books I read. I am hoping to share an updated picture of the Shelf of Shame to give you a sense of how much has been read. We’ll see how this goes, and hopefully by September my TBR will look more manageable.

Hahaha… manageable. Who am I kidding? 🙂

Molly & her Raven Boys

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Make way for the Raven King!

In the summer for 2013 I read The Raven Boys. I’d been told over and over again by a very good friend that I HAD to read it. I… put it off. I was told to read The Scorpio Races (also by Maggie Stiefvater) and I put it off. Then I ended up getting an eARC of The Dream Thieves and a copy of The Raven Boys for .99 on my kindle so… I read it.

And hated myself for not having read it sooner.

trcThree years later and I have read ALL of Maggie’s books. And I love them all, but The Raven Cycle is just something more for me. It’s something special. I religiously re-read The Raven Boys on January first EVERY year. I have never re-read an entire series of books the way I have with these books. I have never COLLECTED books like this before. I mean, I thought I was a pretty big Harry Potter fan… but The Raven Cycle is my lifesblood.

I was thinking about it the other day, trying to figure out WHY I love this series so much, why I love these characters so much. And I think it’s because it feels like home to me. There are bits and pieces of these stories and characters and settings that speak to me because they were parts of my life. And each one of the boys, Gansey, Ronan, Adam and Noah, have parts of people that I have known and loved in them. I’ve had a grand total of ONE friendship like Blue has with these boys. And I can see my mother and my mother’s friends in Blue’s mother and extended family. I grew up around boys who loved fast cars with big engines and boys who swore too much and boys who were assholes and boys who grew up in the dirt and boys who were princes among men. I grew up with a magical forest (okay, not ~magical~ magical) in my back yard and cows across the street. I grew up with mythology and history and free thinking.

I also love these books because Maggie’s way with words is fucking witchcraft and I love it. I will read ANYTHING she writes and I’m 98% guaranteed to love it by default because of her writing alone.

I finished The Raven King last weekend (I was lucky to get an early copy thanks to my bookstore selling it early, shame on them!). I cried, I laughed, I handed the book to my husband at the end of it all and he tried to put it in the trash because I looked so. damn. lost. I sat on my bed and just SAT there and he came in and asked if I was okay and I just looked at him and said “It’s over. It’s really over.”

Guys, I don’t even know if I was THIS far gone when I finished the last Harry Potter book. The feelings I had after finishing The Raven King… I’m not even sure what to compare them to.

I just fucking love these books. And now I can’t believe that it’s over. But I still have work to do. I love to underline my favorite bits in the paperbacks (I don’t mark up my hard covers or ARCs) so now I have to wait until the paperback comes out so I can re-read and underline EVERY SINGLE RONAN LINE ugh he was perfection in this book.

ANNNND I get to see Maggie in May. I am kinda in shock over this. I thought that I’d never get to meet her and forever be vicariously living through my friends as they meet her and I force them to tell her that I’m their friend! She’s gonna meet me and be like “what a weird-o!” but AH! I can’t wait. I’ll blog about that FOR SURE!

***

HI GUYS! If you have made it this far into the post then I will now transition into a less Raven Boys post and into a more personal post. As you all saw, my coblogger, my love, Sammy, recently lost her mother. She just wrote a pot about it (points to post below) and I’d appreciate it if you could all leave her some love and support in the comments!

I do not have much to report on the personal front. I’ve been reading a lot, working at my job, and just hanging out. Husband is busy, as always, being a crazy mad scientist, so that leaves me with a lot of free time to READ. I’ve recently been cooking a lot of Japanese food (you can see it on my instagram @safeaslife) and watching a few anime here and there.

Actually here’s a thing that I’ve been dealing with lately. I’ve really been missing Japan. For those of you that are new, I used to live in Japan, and moved to Boston in 2014 with my husband so he could go to MIT. I lived in Japan for roughly 7 years and I LOVED it. The last year I was there I tried REALLY hard to convince myself that I was ready to leave Japan and part of me was. There WAS a part of me that wasn’t (and probably never will be) ready to leave and I just kinda… shoved that part down really deep. And then I proceeded to ignore that part for the past year and a half. My husband and I were DETERMINED to enjoy our US life and not miss Japan. We were going to eat American food and watch American TV and NEVER touch Japanese anything.

Well, unfortunately for him there’s a thing called culture shock and homesickness. And he did succumb to them. I… did as well. Yes, I am homesick for my second home. And I am FINALLY accepting this. He is too. He used to be so anit-Japanese stuff (minus food) and now we watch a lot of anime and he watched a lot of Japanese TV shows that he misses and we listen to Japanese music and I cook Japanese food and even have started to buy his favorite food (natto) on a weekly basis. I’ve been telling myself that it’s okay to miss Japan and to enjoy the stuff that I loved about Japan. We might move back in the future, we might not. But I need to be okay with this. I mean, I DO love being back in the USA, there’s a ton of stuff that I love/appreciate that I couldn’t get in Japan. But damn, there are times when I am just bowled over with nostalgia and homesickness.

So yeah. There’s that. Oh and I’m thinking about going by my real name on the blog again. I don’t really need to hide behind a pseudonym anymore (and I’ve been using my real name on twitter for awhile now).

Life Update and Where I’ve Been

Hi everyone,

So you may have noticed that other than ARC reviews, there hasn’t been much going on for the blog. I am really sorry about that, but life took an unexpected turn that I’m now working my way through.

My mother was a cancer patient for eleven years, and finally she passed away. It breaks my heart given that she managed eleven extra years on life, even though she was told all those years ago that she was going to die then. Since my dad passed back in 2013, we’ve really clung together, keeping each other sane, and being there for each other in order to make sure that everything in the house was in working order. She was my greatest role model, a champion fighter, and lover of others. She was so selfless in the way in which she dealt with people, always willing to give more of herself if need be. I always continue to strive to be like my parents — they were amazing people, so losing both of them in such a short span of time can really mess with someone.

So here we are. This is why there’s only been reviews on the blog. I’ve been trying to keep myself calm and sane, but the reality is that I have a lot of work ahead of me, and I need time to grieve what I once had, while also reminding myself of all the good memories I had as well. I hope to start having regular scheduled content back up from both River and I, but I hope for now a lot of these reviews of new and upcoming titles will suffice for a bit longer.

Thanks for your understanding, and keep sharing all your newfound reading loves with me in the comments. I always love hearing from everyone and what they’ve been enjoying as of late.