Category «Features»

Top Ten Tuesdays: Last 10 Books I DNF’d

memefulthoughts1
Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally take a shot at it! 

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books I Just Couldn’t Finish

I’ve been really good in the last year or so about not DNFing books. I don’t think there is anything wrong with DNFing books. I mean, I even wrote a post about HOW I do it here and part of my yearly wrap-up for the blog includes a DNF December Blitz of all the books and/or series I’ve opted not to finish for one reason or another. I just mean, that in the last year or so I’ve been very fortunate to pick up books that I’ve been able to finish.

So far this year I’ve DNF’d 4 books. Last year, I didn’t DNF a book until June. But here are the last 10 I’ve had to put down and why:

In Order of Most Recent:

1

I was listening to the audio version and I just found it couldn’t hold my attention with all the jumping around from past to present. Plus it is SO LONG!

DNF’d at 44%

2


I was really excited to read this diversely cast sequel but I failed to see the chemistry between these two at all.

DNF’d at 30%

3

This book hits the ground running and I had immediately fell behind. I felt like the synopsis served as the exposition and that I should already know who these people were and their relationships.

DNF’d at 21%

4


I really enjoyed the others in the series but this went from 0 to 100 in a second with no build up of chemistry or anything. Just didn’t work for me!

DNF’d at 25%

Read Series Review

5


Everything in this book seemed to move at a glacial pace. Whether it was the romance or the severe lack of drama, everything was taking its time to develop and I was bored.

DNF’d at 41%

Read My Review

6


After a promising first part, I was eager to see where this would go but it went nowhere anytime fast.

DNF’d at 40%

Read Series Review

7


I bought this before the whole Kindle Unlimited scam happened but this was so boring and bland.

DNF’d at 23%

8


Too much angst from our female lead and the lack of the male POV had me feeling nothing from these two.

DNF’d at 37%

Read My Review

9


This started off promising for me but I disliked how judgy our lead was towards other women. And I felt zero chemistry between the leads.

DNF’d at 22%

Read My Review

10


This book just needed something to take it to the next level. I wanted complex politics and drama but everything felt mundane.

DNF’d at 52%

Read My Review


Do you tough it out or do you DNF?

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Leave a Link to your TTT for me to visit in the comments below!

Monthly Inventory: April 2020

April 2020

Last month I was finding it harder than normal to concentrate on reading. I found myself picking up other hobbies like knitting or taking an online course to learn Python coding. And if it wasn’t an audiobook, I likely didn’t pick it up.

But April seemed to be a total 180! Work was even crazier than the month before (I work in the lab at a hospital) and I found myself reaching for the old familiar comfort of reading and finishing a book. It felt great to get lost in books again.

Once again, audiobooks ruled the month! Nearly 46% of the titles I read where audiobooks. I even managed to finish 2 shorter ones in one day! The secret? I would listen to them as I played Animal Crossing (the old school Wii version City Folk since I don’t have a Switch). They make great company when virtually fishing and catching bugs 😛

And I also set a mini challenge for myself to catch up on some ARCs that I had let slip to the wayside. I finished all of those up within the week which was great!

For May I’m hoping to tackle the titles I took out from the library before it shut down back in March. That includes finishing the final Throne of Glass novel (which I had been reading a bit at a time) and rewarding myself with 2 Cassandra Clare novels.

I hope everyone is staying safe and listening to their local health experts. There isn’t a minute of my day where I don’t think about the state of the world given my job. And when I think about what we are being asked to do (literally just staying home) and how doable that is when other generations before us were asked to leave their homes and travel to places unknown. I know it challenging (my dog and I definitely have cabin fever) but doing your small part as an individual helps the greater good in the long run. And thank you to everyone who is working on the frontlines–whether that’s in healthcare, food services, cleaning, delivery–keep up the great work!

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Total for April 2020: 23 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 1 Books

Last April: 12 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read + 0 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★)


Piper Lawson is a favourite author of mine and I’ve been eagerly awaiting her brand new spin-off series! I loved all the tension and angst this brought and THAT ENDING!

Biggest Let Down (DNF’d)


I was really excited to start this book for a number of reasons. The diverse cast was the main one. But the “hate to love” you trope was more “hate” than “love” so I failed to see the chemistry between them and that bored me enough to put the book down.

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

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You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 3 books added | 10 of 31 Titles Read – 3 books behind!
Goodreads Challenge: 14 books added | 64/155 Books –  13 books ahead!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 7 books added | 9/24 Books – 1 book ahead!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

This was a crazy month! I’m super ahead in my Goodreads Challenge (probably the most I’ve ever been ahead in my life) which is great because it gives me some buffer room for when normal life resumes. It was also a great month to catch up on reading books I already own. I was super behind on my Tackling the TBR Challenge so it was great to make up some ground.

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I used to do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and had great success last year doing this on a monthly basis. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. My 10 titles consist of 7 “new to me” titles and 3 “previously started series” titles.

This month:

Spark (Spark, #1)
Pass

Vision of Love (Infinity, #1)
Pass
Ruby Ink (Clairmont #1)
Pass
Noah (5th Street, #1)
Keep
Thousand Words
Pass

Drifting into Darkness (Drifting, #1)
Pass

Velvet (Velvet, #1)
Keep

The Young Queens (Three Dark Crowns, #0.2)
Pass

The Sinners Touch (Manwhore, #2)
Keep
House of Kings (House of Royals, #3)Keep

Pass: 6 | Keep: 4

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 20 | Keep: 20

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

I’m going to keep the focus on books I already own for May–particularly cleaning up some series and crossover series I have on the go while everything is still fresh.

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Read Because of Bloggers

memefulthoughts1
Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally take a shot at it! You can always find these lists (past, present and original) on my Riffle Page!

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books I Read Because of Book Bloggers

For the last few years, I’ve kept track of books I’ve decided to add to my TBR because I read some great reviews on book blogs. I used to just label the books with a particular tag on Goodreads but then I realized I couldn’t trace them back! So now I makes notes about the post and blogger so I know who to thank when I finally pick up the book.

I did do a similar TTT post in 2016 but that was books I had on my TBR from other blogs. This time, I’m focusing on books I have actually read and the blogs I found them on!

(In no particular order):


Links to My Reviews:

Do you keep track of where you find your books?

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Leave a Link to your TTT for me to visit in the comments below!

Monthly Inventory: February 2020

February 2020

It might be the shortest month of the year, but I sure packed a lot of reading in this past month! It helped that my work schedule (and some snowy days) allowed me to stay home and curl up on the couch with my many books.

This is the last full month I have for my Kindle Unlimited Subscription before I cancel it again so I tried my best to fit in all the books I need to read that are a part of the program. That meant I had a few binge reading sessions–which is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time!

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Total for February 2020: 15 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read + 2 DNF’d

Last February: 14 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read + 0 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I actually had two 5 star reads this month but I opted for this series finale to be the standout read. While there was an aspect or two I wasn’t a fan of, I was totally absorbed into this audiobook. I’ve never been inclined to just sit and listen to an audiobook from start to finish, but I could have with this one!

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


I’ve really enjoyed this series so far and so when I got the ARC for the newest novel, I was so excited to jump in. But this was so boring and everything was so quick in terms of the romance that I just couldn’t get into it.


Once again for Black Friday, Kindle had a promotion for new Kindle Unlimited Subscribers where you got 3 months of reading for only $0.99!!! I was hoping this deal would return after I had such a blast taking advantage of it last year.

Like I always do when I resubscribe, I wanted to see if I got my money’s worth and so I will be keeping track of all the books I read via the service. (Just like I did when completing the free trial.)

  • Savage Royals by Callie Rose – $5.49
  • My Peace by Courtney Cole – $5.26
  • Defiant Princess by Callie Rose – $5.99
  • Dangerous Games by Dylan Heart – $3.94
  • Maelstrom by Catherine Jones Payne – $6.99
  • Relent by Rachel Schurig – $5.25
  • Daughter of the Rivers by Catherine Jones Payne – $2.99
  • Broken Empire by Callie Rose – $5.49

This was by far the best month I’ve had with KU this time around! I got so many books in and definitely would have made back my subscription fee. My subscription ends the first week of March so I’m going to hopefully fit in some more books! I was offered a deal for another 3 months for the price of 1 when I cancelled but I declined since I want to shift my focus back to titles I own.

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 2 books added | 5 of 31 Titles Read – On Track!
Goodreads Challenge: 16 books added | 25/155 Books – 1 book ahead!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 1 books added | 1/24 Books – 3 books behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Sequel Month #1!

Like I did last year, I’ve decided to dedicate 4 months of 2020 to sequels! That means–with the exception of audiobooks and ARCs–every title I must read in that month needs to be a sequel for a previously started series! Approximately 69% of the books I read this month were sequels! You can see the breakdown of what I read below:

While it wasn’t my best showing in terms of the % read, I’m still really happy that I finished some long overdue series and made some headway on a few others. Prior commitments like ARCs, audiobooks and my Kindle Unlimited subscription really dampened the “sequels only” motto this time around but they also contributed as well.

Cleaning Up My Goodreads Shelves:

My main mission for 2019 was bringing my “Want to Read” shelf (new to me books) on Goodreads to a number close to 400—and I was pretty darn close (422!)! I also set my “Sequel” shelf to be below 250 titles and I did do that (238)!

So this year, I’m aiming for a “Want to Read” shelf that is less than 400 titles. I’ve also set a goal to get my “Sequel” shelf below 200 titles.

Currently

December 31, 2019

Want to Read (New)

409

422

To Read (Sequels)

225

238

GAH!! Do you see how close that “Want to Read Shelf” is!

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

This has been such a success for the last two years that I just had to bring it back for another year! The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. My 10 titles consist of 7 “new to me” titles and 3 “previously started series” titles.

This month:

Pass

Keep

Keep

Keep

Keep

Pass

Pass

Keep

Keep

Pass

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 8 | Keep: 12

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

Once I finish up my last few Kindle Unlimited loans, I’m shifting the focus back to books I already own to help get me back on track with my Tackling the TBR Challenge.

And I’m also going to look at trying out Scribd for a month to see how it compares to other subscription services. There are a few audiobooks I want to read that are available on the service so it’s something I’ve been wanting to sign up for for awhile. If you want to refer me to the service, shoot me a message below!

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Monthly Inventory: January 2020

January 2020

It’s the start of a new decade and new resolutions! I always start with the best intentions and things get put to the wayside. So I’m keeping it simple this year and keeping things both flexible and somewhat generalized.

January wasn’t totally the start I wanted for my reading. I got a little behind on ARCs and that put everything else behind. But I’m hoping February will right everything on course. As I write this in February, I’ve had a great few days and I’m optimistic going forward.

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Total for January 2020: 8 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read + 0 DNF’d

Last January: 10 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read + 0 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Me
Watching Rocketman got me super pumped for this book! I’m a huge Elton John fan (I’m finally going to see him in March after years of trying to get tickets!) and I immediately got sucked into his story. This is by far one of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read!

Biggest Let Down (★★)

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2)
I had some high hopes given the ending of the first book after a slow start. But I struggled to get into this and zoned out for most of it. Just a whole lotta blah for me.


Once again for Black Friday, Kindle had a promotion for new Kindle Unlimited Subscribers where you got 3 months of reading for only $0.99!!! I was hoping this deal would return after I had such a blast taking advantage of it last year.

Like I always do when I resubscribe, I wanted to see if I got my money’s worth and so I will be keeping track of all the books I read via the service. (Just like I did when completing the free trial.)

  • Transfer by Aly Martinez – $6.99
  • I Hate You by Winter Renshaw – $6.64

Despite only getting two books in, I definitely got my money’s worth!

kobostats

Every quarter I take a look at my Kobo stats to see how I’m doing. My Kobo is my main reading device, used for personal and library books. My Kindle is used for ARCs but it lacks the statistic features of my Kobo.

As of:

January 31, 2020

January 31, 2019

Total % of Library Complete

27%

25%

Total # of Books Finished

324

296

Total # of Reading Hours

2738

2598

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 3 books added | 3 of 31 Titles Read – On Track!
Goodreads Challenge: 8 books added | 8/155 Books – 4 books behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 0 books added | /24 Books – 2 books behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

My main mission for 2019 was bringing my “Want to Read” shelf (new to me books) on Goodreads to a number close to 400—and I was pretty darn close (422!)! I also set my “Sequel” shelf to be below 250 titles and I did do that (238)!

So this year, I’m aiming for a “Want to Read” shelf that is less than 400 titles. I’ve also set a goal to get my “Sequel” shelf below 200 titles.

Currently

December 31, 2019

Want to Read (New)

416

422

To Read (Sequels)

232

238

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

This has been such a success for the last two years that I just had to bring it back for another year! The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. My 10 titles consist of 7 “new to me” titles and 3 “previously started series” titles.

This month:

Beloved (Salvation, #1)
Pass

Undercover Love
Pass

The Fill-In Boyfriend
Keep

Love Garage (Love Brothers, #1)
Keep

This Much is True (Truth in Lies, #1)
Keep

Truth or Dare (Dare to Love, #1)
Pass

Robin in the Hood (Robbin' Hearts Series #1)
Pass

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)
Keep

Checkmate: This is Love (Travis & Viola, #2; Checkmate Duet, #2)
Keep

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I usually only update every quarter.

My Progress for January to February 3, 2020:

ARCs Read: 2 | ARCs Overdue: 2+1* | Upcoming: 4

(September State: ARCs Read: 35 | ARCs Overdue: 3+1* | Upcoming: 1

*Titles given to me as a member of an author’s street team to read ASAP.

Going Forward:

It’s a part of my Reading Plan for 2020 to only read 2 ARCs a month. So far, I have a few more than I should on the go but I’m blaming my Kindle Unlimited Subscription and my desire to get those titles in for being slightly distracted.

February is going to be a mix of sequels (the first “sequel only” month of 2020), Kindle Unlimited Reads and some ARCs (which two are sequels!). I have a tall order for the shortest month of the year (though we do get an extra day this year!) so here’s hoping!

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Release Blitz: Off Course by Jamie Deacon

Release Blitz: Off Course by Jamie Deacon

Just over a year ago, I read Jamie’s Defensive Play novella–which is a part of the Boys on the Brink Series–and was immediately charmed by it. It had a sweet, charming romance and had a heartfelt, genuine story to it.

Read my review of Defensive Play here!

Today, I’m here to share the exciting news that Jamie has added a new title to this fantastic series called Off Course for newsletter subscribers!


Title: Off Course

Author: Jamie Deacon
Find it: Here for FREE!

He should never have gone running that afternoon—not with the roads so treacherous,
and certainly not without checking his phone was charged. Then again, if there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Jason Connor is famous for, besides being the star of his cross country team, it’s his impulsiveness. So, when an injured ankle leaves him stranded in the woods with no means of calling for aid, it isn’t the first time a rash decision has led him into trouble.

As dusk approaches, Jason believes his situation can’t get any worse…until rescue arrives in the form of Tarek Bahrani—beautiful, infuriating, and the very last person Jason would choose to find him sprawled in the mud. The two have been enemies since clashing at the Brookshire County Championships, but while Taz is a constant reminder of Jason’s biggest mistake, he might just be the only one who can help him put things right.


Jamie Deacon

Born in 1982, Jamie Deacon lives close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and
is a full-time author of young adult fiction featuring characters across the gender and
sexuality spectrums. When not writing, Jamie loves to read, play board games, and solve
cryptic crosswords.

Jamie’s debut novel, Caught Inside, was published by Beaten Track in 2016 to much acclaim, including two Rainbow Awards. It was also nominated for a Lambda Literary (Lammy) Award, a Bisexual Book Award, and a Next Generation Indie Book Award.

Author Links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Don’t forget to subscribe so you can dive right in!

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Monthly Inventory: December 2019

December 2019

What a year 2019 was! There were definitely some highs and lows when it comes to things personal and reading/blogging but overall, it was a year of growth as I shift my life priorities.

I reflected back on my monthly recaps for 2019 as I wrote up this summary and they were a little bleak. At the start of the year, I debated about keeping my blog as self-hosted or if I should move back to the regular WordPress.com model as my blogging has decreased. But shifting my posting schedule around and taking on fewer deadlines has allowed me to re-embracing blogging and how much I enjoy it.

Throughout the rest of the year, I spent most months lamenting about my dismal reading numbers and how I was perpetually behind on my various reading challenges. But I pulled up my socks by the end of the year and got some last minute reads in. I might have fallen short on my Goodreads Challenge (a first for me!) but as I look at my reading year as a whole, I truly enjoyed most books I read so I consider it a success.

Like I always do, I have a plan for 2020. It’s all about book series (when is it not around here?) and my goal to finish 31 series I have on the go. Of course, I hope to catch-up on some sequels for some other series and read the many books I own. It’s a lot less structured than it has been in the past and I’m making it a resolution of mine to keep up with it throughout the year.

thoughts

Total for December 2019: 13 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 0 Books

Last December 2018: 15 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read + 2 DNFs

Grand Totals for 2019:

59 Books + 41 ARCs + 55 Audiobooks + 22 Novellas + 8 DNFs = 183 Books

*Note some ARCs were audiobooks or novellas so they maybe have been counted twice

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
What an adorable read! I loved the chemistry these two had–which was so refreshing after some lacklustre romances in the last few months.

Biggest Let Down (★★)

Cross Crease (On the Edge, #3)
This was one of the titles I was looking forward to the most when I resubscribed to Kindle Unlimited…and it was a huge disappointment. The lack of maturity; the heavy focus on the heroine’s virginity and a slightly messy plot had me skimming to finish the book.


Once again for Black Friday, Kindle had a promotion for new Kindle Unlimited Subscribers where you got 3 months of reading for only $0.99!!! I was hoping this deal would return after I had such a blast taking advantage of it last year.

Like I always do when I resubscribe, I wanted to see if I got my money’s worth ($10/month) and so I will be keeping track of all the books I read via the service. (Just like I did when completing the free trial.)

  • A Hurt So Sweet: Volume 2 – $5.24
  • Cross Crease – $5.30
  • Top Secret – $6.99

I definitely got my money’s worth this month! I plan on using the service heavily in the next two month’s to finish up some series.

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:


thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 2 books added | 24 of 25 Titles Read – So Close!
Goodreads Challenge: 14 books added | 172/200 Books – Short 28 Books
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 2 books added | 33/24 Books – Completed!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Overall: For a little while, it didn’t look like I was going to get any of my challenges completed but I pulled through! Obviously, my Goodreads Challenge fell short this year but I did complete my Tackling the TBR challenge (and by a lot too! I had actually set my goal to 34 originally but changed it to 24 so I was so close!). And being just one book short of my 5Y5BC was great! Usually I don’t get to all the titles so having one title left is AMAZING!

2020 Reading Challenges:

For 2020 the idea is to focus on SERIES! Crazy, given the title of my blog 😉 But because of my blog’s premise, I have a ton of series on the go ( ??? specifically) and I find some just get pushed to the side. So my goal this year is to finish at least 30 series and if I can get a few more sequels in, I’ll be ecstatic.

My Goodreads Goal this year is 155 Books.

This is a drastic change from year’s past but given this year’s results, I feel like this is a great number to strive for.

5 Year 5 Book Challenge 2020 Edition!

My 25 books (plus a bonus 5 more) for this challenge are all series finales from the last 5 years that I never got around to (well, there is an exception or two).

>> View the titles I’ve selected here!

Tackling the TBR – The 2020 Challenge

I’m following the same guidelines as always by only counting titles that I owned prior to 2019. The minimum goal is 24 titles in 2019. Titles from my 5Y5BC will count towards this challenge (unlike last year).

My main mission for 2019 was bringing my “Want to Read” shelf (new to me books) on Goodreads to a number close to 400—and I was pretty darn close when I finished the year with 422! I also set my “Sequel” shelf to be below 250 titles and I did do that and more with a total of 238!

So this year, I’m aiming for a “Want to Read” shelf that is less than 400 titles. I’ve also set a goal to get my “Sequel” shelf below 200 titles.

Currently

December 31, 2018

Want to Read (New)

422

472

To Read (Sequels)

238

263

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I used to do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and had great success last year doing this on a monthly basis. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. My 10 titles consist of 7 “new to me” titles and 3 “previously started series” titles.

This month:

What Once Was Perfect (Wardham, #1)
Pass

Finding Allie (Breaking Away, #1)
Pass

The Billionaire's Counterfeit Girlfriend (The Pryce Family, #1)
Pass

Someday Girl (Someday, #1)
Pass

The Shadow Society  (The Shadow Society #1)
Keep

Less Than Nothing (Less Than Nothing, #1)
Pass

All that Jazz (Butler Cove, #3)
Pass

Dangerous Rush (Furious Rush, #2)
Keep

Fall (VIP, #3)
Keep

Dirty Red (Love Me with Lies, #2)
Keep

Pass: 6 | Keep: 4

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 34 | Keep: 56

Did I give up on any too soon? Let me know in the comments below!

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I usually only update every quarter.

My Progress for January to December, 2019:

ARCs Read: 41 | ARCs Overdue: 1+1* | Upcoming: 2

(September State: ARCs Read: 11 | ARCs Overdue: 3+1* | Upcoming: 1

*Titles given to me as a member of an author’s street team to read ASAP.

Going Forward:

I say that I am going to limit myself every year when it comes to ARCs but 2019 was probably the first year where I actually did that. It took me a while to wane myself off but the effects were immediate. Not being consumed by deadlines helped to get me out of this dark cloud that seemed to be hanging over my reading.

I still love to read ARCs but I don’t want to be only reading ARCs. So I will be sticking hard to my limit of 2 a month for 2020 so I can focus on finishing series and reading books I already own.

Most of my “to-reads” this month consist of Kindle Unlimited titles for my challenges as well as finishing some books I started back in December.

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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SERIESous’ Reading Plan for 2020

2020 Is the All About Book Series!

I mean, talk about stating the obvious! Clearly this blog is about Book Series. Though to be honest, that is part of the problem. In order to create content I need to read lots of book series. But I also enjoy reading new releases and standalones so some series get left by the wayside.

In 2019’s Reading Plan, one of my goals was to finish up sequels and to do that, I dedicated 4 months of the year to only reading sequels. The results of that idea was simply amazing! I was able to finish up a lot of series reviews that had been sitting in my drafts folder for years.

And so I want to keep that momentum going forward into 2020! Here’s how:

#1 – Sequel Only Months

I loved my “sequel only” months that I did last year and I plan on bringing them back for 2020. That means for one whole month, all I can read are sequels for previously started series. I only make two exceptions. One is for audiobooks because their availability can be hard to time with the long waitlists at my library. Two is for the occasional ARC I may pick up.

I’ve tentatively kept the same months as last year (February, June, September and November) but we will see how it goes.

#2 – 5 Year 5 Book Challenge: Series Edition

I’ve been doing my own uniquely personal reading challenge for the last 2 years. The idea of the 5 Year 5 Book Challenge is to read 5 “hotly anticipated” books I never got to from each of the last 5 years (5 books x 5 years = 25 books!).

>> 2020 Reading Challenge: 5 Year 5 Book Challenge

This time around, I decided that it should be for sequels I never got to! In particular, most of the novels I chose were the grand finales to series I’ve never managed to finish (with the exception of a few). I also threw in some bonus series from before 2015 since this challenge usually includes new series and their sequels as well.

#3 – Read More Books I Own

Reading books I already own has been without a doubt the primary reading focus I’ve had for the last few years. I’ve dedicated a lot of challenges to reading books I own as well as changing my reading habits so that I can focus on books I already own.

>> 2020 Reading Challenge: Tackling the TBR

I’m going to be sticking with my 2019 Tackling the TBR Challenge to read at least 2 books I own (purchases prior to 2020) every month. The idea is to choose sequel novels primarily but I’m not going to be upset if I read another title from my backlogged TBR.

Introducing my 2020 Reading Plan:

I’m keeping is super simple this year when it comes to my spreadsheet. I always start the year off with a bang, using my spreadsheet to keep me on track. But somewhere along the way, I just forget about it. I’m going to try to be more proactive about using it throughout the year this time around.

I’m relying quite a bit on some subscription services for my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge so it’s important that I keep track of what titles I need to read and when given the subscription. So those fields are really the only new additions from last year.

The Highlights:

  • TBR Picks [2] – purchased novels on my Kobo/Kindle/bookshelf
    • only counts for titles purchased prior to 2020
    • This doesn’t include titles from my 5Y5BC
  • 5 Year 5 Book Challenge [3] — a Personal Challenge to read 25 books from the last 5 years
    • 25 books are sequels from 2015 to 2019
    • 5 bonus book series pre-2015
  • ARCs/Tours/Requests/Netgalley [2]

    • I’m setting a hard limit of 2 books per month
    • If I get declined, I will not be replacing the title with another
  • Audiobook Series [2]

    • this is just a way of keeping track of what audio series I have on the go at one time and helps reduce the number of books that come in at once from my library

Going Forward:

Last year, my plan wasn’t as strict and rigid as it has been in the past. It allowed me to follow my moods more and read books that I would enjoy at that time. I think that’s why I didn’t DNF as many titles as I have in the past.

So I’m hoping that this very basic plan will bring out the same results!

Do you create a yearly plan or do you just go with the flow?

What are some of your 2020 reading goals?

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Year’s Reads in Review – Top Picks for 2019

For me, 2019 was a year of new challenges.

When I was coming up with my Reading Plan for 2019, I was pretty optimistic about how my reading year would go. I was moving closer to work so I figured the 2 hours I’d save by not driving would result in me reading more books. (Spoiler: It didn’t!) And so, I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 200 Books. I know that is a high number for some, but I’ve been easily surpassing that number for the last 5 years so I figured it was a good target. (Spoiler: It wasn’t.)

I am disappointed that I didn’t complete my Goodreads Challenge for the year but I did accomplish a lot of other achievements. Most of the books I read were titles I already owned as I actively tried to reduce the number of titles I get through ARCs and from the library. I didn’t DNF a single book until May which is pretty great! I was super close to finishing my 5 Year 5 Book Reading Challenge (just 3 books shy!). And I wrapped up a lot of series I had on the go thanks to my Sequel-Focused Months. So all in all, it was a pretty good year.

> > Check out which books I read this past year HERE!

As always, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top picks (and not so great) from the various categories that I read this past year. Most categories deal with books published only this past calendar year (2019) but there are some noted exceptions. Click on the cover to read my review of the book/series–if available! Lots of these won’t have reviews until early next year.

Without further ado:

(Books are in no particular order; click on cover for review if available)

– Novels that were first published in 2019 –

Rivalry (Slay Quartet, #1) Consumed by Truths (Truth or Lies #6)

– Series that were first published in 2019 –

Hate the Game

– Series that were first published in 2019 –

Realm of Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis

– Novels that were first published in 2019 –

The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey

– Series that ended in 2019 –

Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4) Return to Zero (Lorien Legacies: Reborn #3) Rebel (Legend, #4)

– A series sequel book published in 2019 –

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

– Novels I read in 2019 that were hyped by the community & met expectations –

Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1) The Chase (Briar U, #1)

– Best audiobooks I listened to in 2019 (not necessarily their publication year) –

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5; Castles Ever After, #4) Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1) Mister Romance (Masters of Love, #1)

– Favourite New Adult Series Read in 2019 –

More Than Music (Chasing the Dream, #1) Boomerang (Boomerang, #1) Paper Princess (The Royals, #1) The Chase (Briar U, #1)

– Best standalones I read in 2019 –

xo, Zach Say You'll Remember Me

– Favourite YA Series I read in 2019 –

Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2) Seven Black Diamonds (Seven Black Diamonds, #1) Little White Lies (Debutantes, #1)

-Favourite Young Adult Standalone Read in 2019 –

The Good Girl's Guide to Being Bad

– Books published in 2019 that I DNF’d –

Professor with Benefits (Beta Brothers #3) The Game Changer (Cleat Chasers, #2)

– Books I gave 2 Stars or Less to in 2019 –

 The Pact Mr. Prescott Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, #6) Love Me Never (Lovely Vicious #1)Midnight Jewel (The Glittering Court, #2)

– Books that I enjoyed more than I expected! –

Pan (Neverland, #1) Paper Princess (The Royals, #1) Hate F*@k: Part 1 (The Horus Group, #1)

Have a fabulous 2020!

Do we share any titles? Agree or Disagree?

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Burn, Rewrite or Reread Tag – 2019 Edition

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Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag 2019

Last year, I made doing this tag a part of my annual wrap-up traditions. I just love the idea of highlighting some of the titles I read this year that wouldn’t necessarily make my Year’s Reads in Review list. I read a lot of books in a year and I’ll admit that I forget about some. But doing this recap helps remind me of the various books I spent time on this year.

Here’s a recap of what you are supposed to do:

The Rules:

-Randomly choose 3 books.

-For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread.

-Repeat until you completed three (I do 5) rounds

To get the books for each batch, I used a random number generator to pull titles from my “Books Read in 2019” excel file. This includes any DNF’d titles and if a number repeated itself (or landed on a heading), I reran the generator until I got a fresh title.

Round 1

Cruel Fortune (Cruel, #2) Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1) Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)

Burn: This one was hard to pick because I actually liked Cruel Fortune the best out of the trilogy. It was a refreshing sequel for a romance series that follows the same leads. However, the series as a whole never lived up to my expectations, thus the burn.

Rewrite: A classic case of great idea, poor execution is how I’d sum up my experience with Girls of Paper and Fire. I’d speed up the romance, cut out the redundant first half and add some more politic intrigue to keep this story at a strong pace.

Reread: I have to great More than Music for getting me out of a major reading slump. I loved the romance, the chemistry and the plot! I just devoured this book!

Round 2

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) Tempest (Tempest, #1) Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5; Castles Ever After, #4)

Burn: I feel bad burning What’s Left of Me because I did enjoy it. I love the concept of the hybrids but where it fell short was differentiating itself from other novels in the genre.

Rewrite: Oh the things I would do to make Tempest more of what I wanted it to be. I’d change up the romance, make the plot more dramatic and thrilling and shorten it just a touch.

Reread: Do You Want to Start a Scandal not only wrapped up two of my favourite series by Tessa Dare, but it was also my first audiobook by her…and certainly not my last.

Round 3

Leopold - Part Two (Royal Heartbreaker, #2) The Hummingbird Dagger Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3)

Burn: While Part One ended on a promising note, Leopold Part Two was basically a regurgitation of the events of the first book and melodrama.

Rewrite: I really enjoyed the mystery of The Hummingbird Dagger but I did note in my review that I wanted more from the characters in terms of development.

Reread: I adored this series but Escaping from Houdini was the first one where I gave a full 5 stars. I just loved everything about this book!

Round 4

Hate F*@k: Part 1 (The Horus Group, #1) On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls, #3) Stolen by Truths by Ella Miles

Burn: This is one of the rounds where I actually gave all three books 5 star reviews. So my decision to burn Hate F*@k mostly stems from the idea that the rest of the series went downhill from here for me.

Rewrite: I adored On Thin Ice. I thought it was a great way to wrap up the Juniper Falls Series. My only note from my review was that I wish Brooke’s character development got a little more screen time so that’s what I am going to “rewrite”.

Reread: I can vividly remember getting to the end of Stolen by Truths and being so shocked, my Kindle fell out of my hands. I can’t wait to one day reread that series and see all the little inklings along the way.

Round 5

Fallen Heir (The Royals, #4) For Lila, Forever Surviving Ice (Burying Water, #4)

Burn: I was so excited for Easton’s story in Fallen Heir but wound up majorly disappointed. The romance just didn’t work for me and the drama just got to be a little much.

Rewrite: I think I read For Lila, Forever in one sitting (or close to). The only thing I’d change is strengthening the romance connection so it doesn’t seem to insta-love.

Reread: Surviving Ice was a solid conclusion to the series and I loved Ivy’s character so much!


What would you Burn, Rewrite and Reread from 2019?

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