Saturday, March 31, 2018

Progress Report: January - March 2018

I knew I hadn't posted for a while, but when I really stopped to look at the calendar I realized that this year is already 25% completed... Things are moving along a bit quicker than I thought! So since I haven't posted in months, this will be a long one!

Once again, I will try to be a little more proactive in my blogging/reviewing. One of my unofficial goals for the year was to blog more, but I feel that's not really realistic, especially as I am trying to read even more books this year than I did last year. If I couldn't keep up with blogging before, what makes me think I'll be able to now?!

I've been shifting around all my piles of books recently, and seeing them all piled up together in one place now gives me this overwhelming desire to read as fast as I can, get through them as fast as possible, and try to get rid of some of them. I feel bad getting rid of books I haven't read yet, because (usually) there was a reason I picked up the book... you know? But then I also feel bad getting rid of books I have read, because it's like I'm abandoning them or betraying them. Anyway, bunny trails...

So, the reading goal I set for myself this year is 80 books. This means I need to be reading 6-7 books every month. That is a fairly average rate for me, but it leaves me no room for slumps or reading breaks. Basically, I need to be chain-reading. So far I'm keeping up (because January I was a book dragon, devouring much more than average), so we'll have to see how the next quarter goes...

January was my biggest reading month so far, partially because I finished up a couple books that I had read large chunks of in December, but also because I was fired up for the new year! Haha! Here's the list of what I read, and how I rated them:

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano - ****
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (Alfred Kropp #1) by Rick Yancey - ***
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromley - *****
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - *****
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - ****
26 Kisses by Anne Michels - ****
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend - *****
Queen of Hearts (Queen of Hearts Saga #1) by Colleen Oakes - ****
Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts Saga #2) by Colleen Oakes - ****

In February, I participated in the OwlCrate-A-Thon reading challenge, which helped me bust through 3 OwlCrate reads I hadn't yet got to. Here's what I read:

War of the Cards (Queen of Hearts Saga #3) by Colleen Oakes - ****
Heartless by Marissa Meyer - *****
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones - *****
Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills - *****
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - *****

There's not much to say about March, nothing special happened. These were the books I read:

Furthermore (Furthermore #1) by Tahereh Mafi - ****
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia - ****
You Know You're Dutch, When... by Colleen Geske - ***
North of Happy by Adi Alsaid - ****
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill - ***
Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller - *****
Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook by Rick Barba - ****

So, in summary... Out of the 9 books I read in January, my least favourite was The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, and I had three favourites: Trouble Is a Friend of Mine, Ready Player One, and The Trials of Morrigan Crow. Trouble was just everything I look for in a book: a) geared toward teens and young adults, b) mystery, c) romance, d) adventure (with a dose of danger). It took me by surprise, and I like that in a book. Ready Player One was a dystopian sci-fi, which I love - also, very excited for the movie! I will hopefully be going with my nephew(s) this weekend (I forced the older one to read the book)! The Nevermoor book was so fun and full of adventure and excitement, and I completely fell in love with Jupiter North...

Of the 5 books I read in February, War of the Cards was my least favourite, and my favourite was a tie between The Hearts We Sold and Foolish Hearts. The Hearts We Sold also took me by surprise - I was not expecting such fantasy/sci-fi, and I really enjoyed it! Foolish Hearts is a contemporary romance and I found it super, super sweet.

In March, I lost a bit of steam. Furthermore took me a bit longer than expected to finish. Then I started reading The Lonely Hearts Hotel, which I had pick up at the library the week before - the lesson here being not to pick up books at the library unless you are ready to start reading them now. I'm very much a mood-reader, so when I got to the end of Furthermore, I wasn't really feeling the other one. But I started it anyway, and then got my butt kicked. I realized, too late, that Lonely Hearts Hotel was written by the same author as Lullabies for Little Criminals, which I did not enjoy, and I had said I wouldn't read anything more by that author. The writing style is the same, and I think the only word I can use to describe it is crude. So I took a break, read a couple others, then went back to it. But it kind of took the wind from my sails. I hate not finishing books, so I made myself go back to it... Anyway, so I think it should be obvious that The Lonely Hearts Hotel was my least favourite of the 7 books I read in March. I think I would have to say that Eliza and Her Monsters was my favourite. I had originally posted this with six books in March, including an audiobook, because I had assumed that I would finish the audiobook in time. I did not. Also, I had read two other small books that I wasn't originally going to include in my monthly reads, but alas, I did read them, so they should count, right? You Know You're Dutch When... was a gift from one of my Dutch penpals, and Newt Scamander: A Movie Scrapbook came in my March Wizarding World box from LootCrate!

At this point, I have read 21 out of 80 books, putting me at 26% - right on target!

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