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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.

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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.

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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: 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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DNF December Review Blitz: Introduction Post 2019

Ever since 2015 when I decided to be more proactive and smarter about my TBR list, I’ve found myself DNFing more books than ever. I’m sure some people will read that and think “how awful” but I don’t see it necessarily as a negative thing; if anything, it has improved my reading life in an extremely positive way. Following a post I wrote explaining why I wanted to DNF more booksI’ve found myself in less reading slumps because I’m not reading books simply because I feel like I have to finish them. If I don’t find myself interested in one book, I simply stop it and read another until I find one that sticks.

>> SERIESous Discussion: DNFing ARCs

So last year I came up with the idea to post all my DNF book reviews in December. The main reason I decided to do this was that my DNF reviews would always be moved around to accommodate other posts throughout the year and never seemed to see the light of day. Add to that: I really liked the idea of having them be a part of my year-end round up to help me remember my year of reading.

Now: what is a DNF’d review?

Last year, these DNF reviews were books that I stopped reading before I finished them. It didn’t include book series where I had finished Book #1 but had opted not to read the sequels. This year, that’s not the case (more below). And like last year, I’m excluding titles that qualify for my Fresh Friday” review post (brand new book series that had their inaugural title released in the past year but the sequel has yet to be published).

I actually hadn’t DNF’d a single book until June this past year (shocking, I know!) so I included some series where I (reluctantly) finished the first book but decided not to read the sequels. But I had a terrible summer reading slump and DNF’d a lot of books so the majority of this year’s blitz does focus on titles I never finished.

What Reviews are on the Way?

These DNF reviews get a bit of a different review format in comparison. In them, I list what I liked, what I didn’t and if I ever plan on finishing the series. I always find these reviews helpful when I’m deciding whether or not to add a book to my TBR and that’s what I aim for these reviews to do and why I publish them.

Here are the reviews you will see over the next few days (note the links may be “broken” as the reviews aren’t published yet):

I hope you enjoy the reviews I post over the next two weeks! And if you read and enjoyed these books, I would love to get your takes on them! Who knows, maybe I’ll pick them up again!

SERIESous Discussion: Reading Formats for Series

SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!

Are you a Format Loyalist? If you start the series in one format, do you stick with it until the very last novel?

I was inspired to write this post when I was looking at sequel novels in June 2019. One of my goals for 2019 is to complete some of the many series that I’ve started over the years and to do that, I decided to dedicate 4 months within the year exclusively to sequels.

Audiobooks are a relatively new thing to me. In the last two years, I’ve started listening to them on a (nearly) daily basis. So I always have one print book and one audiobook on the go.

Finding printed sequels to read for the month was easy. Between my physical public library; their eBook selections and my own eBook collection, I was never without a novel to read. But trying to find an audiobook to read during the month: that was the hard part. Why? I don’t have a lot of “unfinished” audiobook series because I binge-listen to all the sequels or they are newer series with sequels still to be published.

>>SERIESous Tips: 5 Ways to Get Into Audiobooks

If I was in this predicament last year, I probably would have looked at half of the books I read this past June and said “nope” to the audio version. I was adamant that if I started a series as an eBook one or as a hardcover, that’s how I was going to finish it.

But then this thought occurred to me: who cares?

Obviously, I do to some degree. I have some “golden rules” when it comes to my reading. I refuse to read any of Cassandra Clare’s novels as anything but the beautiful hardcovers. I have a few series that I’ve started as audiobooks (like The Diabolic and Dividing Eden) that I want to continue as audiobooks. So clearly I have a few holdouts because I feel like the format of the novel contributes to my overall reading experience.

But what about those sequel novels to series I haven’t touched in years? You know the ones where you barely remember anything but the main plotline and the characters mentioned in the synopsis? Why wouldn’t you pick up the audio version instead (or maybe the eBook)? Why not rejuvenate your experience with the series by trying it in a new way?

My thoughts exactly.

This year, I’ve been listening to the audio versions of sequels for quite a few series I originally read in print years ago–and I’m having tremendous success with it!

Obviously, I’m finishing series that have been on the back-burner for years, making room and time for new TBR items. And who doesn’t love cleaning up their TBR?

I also think that I’m enjoying these sequels more because they are audiobooks. If you’ve never read an audiobook before, they bring stories to life in a way that you just don’t get through a print version.

It’s not just audiobooks though that you can change to. Sometimes it just comes down to convenience and what format(s) is(are) available. When eReading was starting to become a thing, I made the switch from printed novels to eBooks because it was easier to get my hands on the copies. I know that for me, reading the novels back to back instead of waiting keeps my momentum and enjoyment going. So if I have to read Book #1 as a paperback, Book #2 as an eBook, so be it!

And sometimes, depending on the format, there are bonus features (like maps or glossaries or deleted scenes) available that can enhance your reading and you might not get those in a different format.

So I guess you can say that I learned that sometimes change is good.

What about you? Do you stick to one type of book format when you read a book series? Or do you jump around depending on the availability of your titles?

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Monthly Inventory: November 2019

November 2019

I have no idea where this month went! Honestly! I was feeling so good about my reading back in October and then this month just had to go and ruin that momentum.

But I did get a lot done even if it wasn’t as much as I wanted (though it is surprisingly better than last November). It’s taken me all year but I’ve come to terms with the decline in my reading stats and I don’t feel as much pressure to read as much as I did before. Even if the numbers aren’t like they used to be, I really enjoyed everything I read this month and the freedom I had to pick up whatever book I wanted and when. I haven’t been able to do that in a long time!

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Total for November 2019: 13 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 0

Last November: 12 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read + 1 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I was super duper scared but excited for the 4th Legend novel—and all my worries were for nothing. This is how you wrap up a series years after its original publication!

Biggest Let Down (★★★)


I was very excited for this playboy to fall in love and I just felt underwhelmed by his whole character arc, but especially the romance.

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: 0 books added | 17 of 25 Titles Read – 3 Books Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 13 books added | 157/200 Books – 24 Books Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: +5 books added | 24/24 Books – Completed in October!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Sequel Month #4!

In an effort to reduce the number of book series I have on the go (123 and counting!), I’ve decided to dedicate 4 months of 2019 to sequels. Because December is dedicated to wrapping up my challenges, my last sequel month for 2019 is November.

Approximately 92% of the books (all but one!) I read this month were sequels! You can see the breakdown of what I read below:

  • # of Sequels Read: 12 + 2 in progress
    1. Dark Paradise by Winter Renshaw (Dark #1)
      • I actually read the sequel first 😉
    2. Bedwrecker by Kim Karr (Men of Laguna #2)
    3. One Blood Ruby by Melissa Marr (Seven Black Diamonds #2)
    4. Hollywood Prince by Kim Karr (Men of Laguna #3)
    5. Rebel by Marie Lu (Legend #4)
    6. Vortex by Julie Cross (Tempest #2)
    7. Good Girl by Lauren Layne (Love Unexpectedly #2)
    8. More than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs (Chasing the Dream #2)
    9. Timestorm by Julie Cross (Tempest #3)
    10. Fallen Heir by Erin Watt (The Royals #4)
    11. Love Story by Lauren Layne (Love Unexpectedly #3)
    12. Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt (The Royals #5)
    13. Most Likely to Score by Lauren Blakely (Ballers and Babes #2)
    14. Royal Captives by Michael Pierce (Royal Replicas #2)
  • # of Series Finished: 6
    1. Dark
    2. Seven Black Diamonds
    3. Men of Laguna
    4. Legend
    5. Tempest
    6. The Royals

I definitely plan on bringing this approach back next year because I’ve seen a HUGE improvement when it comes to finishing series. And it reminded me so much why I love to binge read series which I feel like I haven’t done in a very long time. In turn, I was able to churn out a lot of reviews for the blog! I didn’t think I’d have enough content to schedule in the new year but these sequel months have helped get some of those dusty drafts out into the open.

Here are some of the grand totals for the year:

  • # of sequels read: 77 books! (~57% of titles read this year)
  • # of series finished: 30 series!

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:

Awakened (Anew #1)
Pass

Easy Virtue (Virtue, #1)
Keep

Easy Love (Boudreaux, #1)
Pass

The One You Want (The Original Heartbreakers, #0.5)
Pass

The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell (The MacGregors: Highland Heirs, #1)
Pass

That's a Promise (Promises, Promises, #1)
Pass

Sisters of Blood and Spirit (The Sisters of Blood and Spirit, #1)
Pass

Illicit Contact (Shatterproof #2)
Keep

Captured (The Torn Series Book 2)
Keep

Tender Dance (Lovers Dance, #4)
Keep

Pass: 6 | Keep: 4

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 28| Keep: 52

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

December is all about finishing up my reading goals. I work a lot this month because of the holidays so I don’t think I will be able to get as much reading in as a I dream. But the plan is to at least get my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge completed.

And thanks to Cyber Week, I’ve snagged some great deals for Kindle Unlimited and Audible so even more reading will be in store!

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

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Monthly Inventory: October 2019

October 2019

For me, October was all about catching-up on books I’ve put off for too long. The first half of the month was dedicated to finishing up my last remaining ARCs; while the latter half was about finishing some sequels I had started in September (or had taken out from the library forever ago). Overall, It felt like a really productive month for me and it’s been a long time since I felt that way about my reading.

Clearly, I’m still really behind on my Goodreads Challenge for the year. I looked at my Monthly Inventory for October 2018 and in it, I had mentioned that I just completed my Goodreads Challenge for 2018. Right now, I’m about 23 books behind schedule (or ~60 books missing). I really don’t have high hopes that I will complete my goal this year, but I always knew that would be a possibility when I set it. (Hence the target; it was giving me something to aim for). Obviously, I’m going to try and pack in as many novels as I can by the year’s end, but with a larger focus on sequels and my Reading Challenge titles.

On a positive note, I officially crossed the 2000 total books read mark on Goodreads this past month!

thoughts

Total for October 2019: 16 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 3

Last October: 11 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 4 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I think I renewed this book about 3 times from the library before I finally found the time to read it. And I’m so glad I got around to it! This series is just getting better and better and I was totally captivated by this mystery.

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


Some mixed reviews had me going in cautiously but I was ready to give it the benefit of the doubt. But the first sign of trouble should have been when my Kindle informed me that it would take 18 hours to read an ~250 page book (something that should take me 4-5 hours). After I did some research and learned about why this author isn’t able to sell books on Amazon anymore, it was pretty easy to come to the decision to DNF this uber boring novel.

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: 4 books added | 20 of 25 Titles Read – On track!
Goodreads Challenge: 20 books added | 144/200 Books – 23 Books Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 4 books added | 26/24 Books – Challenge completed!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

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:

A Long Goodbye (Southern Comfort, #1)
Pass

You Loved Me At My Darkest (You Loved Me, #1)
Pass

The Line Between (The Line Between, #1)
Pass

Fighting Hard (Fighting For Love, #1)
Pass

His  (Dark Romance, #1)
Keep

Never Never (Never Never, #1)
Keep

Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy, #1)
Keep

Renegade Red (The Light, #2)
Keep

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2)
Keep

Beyond What is Given (Flight & Glory, #3)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 22 | Keep: 48

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

Because I dedicate December to my last minute Reading Challenge reads, November will be my final “sequel” month of the year. I’m really looking forward to improving upon my previous progress and finishing up some long overdue series. I haven’t decided what series those will be–it’s up to the library availability and my mood–but I’m looking forward to returning to some great worlds!

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

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Monthly Inventory: September 2019

September 2019

In my August Inventory, I mentioned that I kinda felt like I was in a bit of a crisis when it comes to reading and blogging. But September didn’t totally feel the same. Maybe having a purpose or direction (ie reading only sequels) helped me feel like I was getting stuff accomplished even if my numbers aren’t overly stellar (though they were pretty great compared to the last few months!).

Once again, I feel like the month just started yet here I am recapping it!

thoughts

Total for September 2019: 15 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 0

Last September: 13 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read + 5 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Consumed by Truths (Truth or Lies #6)
I’m so sad that this series is over but this finale was perfect! Even more perfect is the fact that a spin-off series is in the works!

Biggest Let Down (★★)

P.S. I Dare You (PS Series Book 3)
This book just felt rushed and underdeveloped. Not a great way to end that 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: 0 books added | 16 of 25 Titles Read – 2 Books Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 18 books added | 124/200 Books – 25 Books Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 5 books added | 20/24 Books – Ahead of Schedule!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Sequel Month #3!

In an effort to reduce the number of book series I have on the go (123 and counting!), I’ve decided to dedicate 4 months of 2019 to sequels. And I was inspired to do this because of the month of September! I always focus on sequels in September and this year, it’s no different. Approximately 89% of the books I read this month were sequels! You can see the breakdown of what I read below:

  • # of Sequels Read: 16 + 2 in progress
    1. Hate F*@k Part 3 by Ainsley Booth (Forbidden Bodyguards #1)
    2. PS I Miss You by Winter Renshaw (PS Series #2)
    3. Consumed by Truths by Ella Miles (Truth or Lies #6)
    4. Rebound by Noelle August (Boomerang #2)
    5. PS I Dare You by Winter Renshaw (PS Series #3)
    6. Professor Feelgood by Leisa Rayven (Masters of Love #2)
    7. Red at Night by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3.5)
    8. Until We Burn by Courtney Cole (Beautifully Broken #2.5)
    9. Bounce by Noelle August (Boomerang #3)
    10. Marian, Princess Thief by C K Brooke (Mythic Maidens #3)
    11. Once We Were by Kat Zhang (The Hybrid Chronicles #2)
    12. Echoes of Us by Kat Zhang (The Hybrid Chronicles #3)
    13. The Blood Spell by C J Redwine (Ravenspire Series #4)
    14. The Darkest Hour by Lauren Smith (Surrender Series #4)
    15. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare (Castles Ever After #4, Spindle Cove #5)
    16. Bad Love by Piper Lawson (Modern Love #2)
    17. Nightblood by Elly Blake (Frostblood Saga #3) — in progress
    18. Submerged by A M Deese (Dance of the Elements #2) — in progress
  • # of Series Finished: 6
    1. PS Series
    2. Truth or Lies
    3. Boomerang
    4. The Hybrid Chronicles
    5. Castles Ever After
    6. Spindle Cove

It was a good mix of continuing series and finishing series this past month. And I’m super excited that from of my efforts this month, some new review posts are going up in the next few months! For a little while, I was worried I wasn’t going to have enough content to keep up with my current posting schedule but this month has helped me schedule my reviews for nearly the first half of 2012.

Cleaning Up My Goodreads Shelves:

My main mission for 2018 was bringing my “Want to Read” shelf (new to me books) on Goodreads to a number below 500—and I totally did that! 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 250 titles.

Currently

June 1, 2019

Want to Read (New)

439

468

To Read (Sequels)

246

247

I’m really excited that my sequels are keeping steady below 250. It would be nice if my New to Me TBR items were closer to 400 but I’ve dropped quite a bit since my last quarterly check.

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:

No Prince Charming (Secrets of Stone, #1)
Pass

Because You're Mine (MINE, #1)
Pass

Rock Me Hard (The Rock Star's Seduction, #1)
Keep

Rushed (Rushed, #1)
Keep

Legendary (Legendary Saga, #1)
Pass

Beware (Beware, #1)
Pass

Blindsided (By His Game, #1)
Keep

Beautiful (Beautiful Bastard, #5)
Keep

The Bone Witch (The Witches of London Trilogy Book 3)
Keep

The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6)
Pass

Pass: 3 | Keep: 7

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 18 | Keep: 42

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 September, 2019:

ARCs Read: 35 | ARCs Overdue: 3+1* | Upcoming: 1

(June State: ARCs Read: 23 | ARCs Overdue: 1+1* | Upcoming: 1

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

Going Forward:

I got a little request happy at the end of the month but I’ve been really good about limiting my ARC requests. I’m hoping to have most of the overdue novels finished in the upcoming weeks.

November is the last Sequel Month of the year for me so October will be about finishing my overdue ARCs, focusing on my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge as well as my Tackling the TBR Challenge.

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

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Monthly Inventory: August 2019

August 2019

Ummm, what happened to the month of August? I feel like it just arrived and now here I am writing up my (dismal) recap of the month.

If I thought July was bad for reading and blogging, August had nothing on it. Once again, if audiobooks weren’t an everyday staple for me, my reading numbers would be pathetic. I just don’t the the time (or energy) to read anymore it seems. And don’t get me started on the number of times (3?) I logged in to update the blog.

I feel like I’m going through a midlife crisis when it comes to reading. I don’t know how else to describe it–maybe a reading slump about reading as a whole. I think part of the problem is that I have a hard time accepting that I just can’t read like I used to. I have so many other responsibilities now that finding the time to read is hard to come by. I can maybe squeeze a chapter in before my eyes close at night. Gone are the days where I used to stay in bed for an hour or two in the morning and read my book.

So we will see what September brings. The focus will be on sequels but again, it’s a busy month so besides a couple days off at the start of the month, I’m not overly optimistic I’ll get much reading in.

thoughts

Total for August 2019: 8 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 3 Books

Last August: 18 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read + 4 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


Ella Miles rocks my socks and this series is quickly going down as my all-time favourite of hers. I’m dying for the grand finale!

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


If the synopsis didn’t tell me that this was a retelling of the Evil Queen, I wouldn’t have known. I like villain origin stories but this was just dull.

 posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Author Fatigue

Most Viewed Review

Series Review

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

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+1 books added | 16 of 25 Titles Read – On Track!
Goodreads Challenge: 12 books added | 105/200 Books – 26 Books Behind!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 3 books added | 15/24 Books – On Track!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

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:

Married to the Bad Boy
Pass

Cartel (Cartel, #1)
Keep

Spark (Spark, #1)
Pass

Swan Song
Pass

One Night Stand (One Night Stand, #1)
Keep

Keep It Secret (KIS #1)
Pass

Semper Mine (Sons of War, #1)
Pass

Beyond What is Given (Flight & Glory, #3)
Keep

Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, #2)
Pass

Echoes Beneath (The Truth Series #2)
Keep

Pass: 6 | Keep: 4

Grand Total YTD: Pass: 28 | Keep: 52

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

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

September is all about sequels! I have quite a few that I meant to read in August that I hope to get to in September. I’m have some time off work the first week of September so I’m hoping to fit some more books in to help get me on track for my 2019 reading goals.

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

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Disclaimer | Request a Review | Contact