Tag «monthly features»

Monthly Inventory: October 2018

October 2018

Like most month’s this year, I feel like October came and went in a flash!

Between life, work and vacation, I didn’t get much reading in. (That’s also why this post is happening super later than normal!). It helped my numbers a lot that I read a lot more novellas or shorter novels than I usually do. But, that still didn’t stop me from completing my Goodreads Goal ahead of schedule! Once again, I underestimated my reading prowess for the yearbut given the last few months, it’s a good thing I got ahead of schedule earlier this year because I’m not sure I would have reached it otherwise.

thoughts

Total for October 2018: 11 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 4 Books

Last October: 16 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read + 1 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


This book was everything I wanted it to be–it’s one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read in a long, long time!

Biggest Let Down (★)


I was super excited to return to this world with a brand new set of leads but this story took a turn/approach I did not appreciate in the slightest. What a disappointment!


posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Monthly Inventory: September 2018

Most Viewed Review

DNF Review: Kens

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: Only Between Us | 17 of 25 Titles Read – Slightly Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 15 books added | 202/190 Books – COMPLETED!
52 Sequel Challenge: 5 Sequels | 43/52 Sequels – Slightly Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 2 books added | 26/36 Books – Slightly Behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 new to me series + 3 previously started series):

Pass

Keep

Keep

Pass

Pass

Pass

Keep

Pass

Keep

Pass

Pass: 6 | Keep: 4

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

 

The main focus this month is to clean up my ARCs and get some reading challenge titles under my belt. Fingers crossed!

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

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SERIESous Tips: Book Blogging When on Vacation

Finding the right balance between relaxing and being productive while on vacation isn’t always easy.

I’m a huge fan of travelling. I love exploring the world and experiencing new adventures. I’ve been very fortunate to see so many things over the last few years and I always try to go some place new every year.

I do a lot of prep before I go on a trip. Of course I do all the stuff pertinent to my trip (like packing clothes and printing itineraries) but I also get my reading and blogging habits in order as well.

>> SERIESous Tips: Picking the Perfect Travel Read!

My Philosophy:

I didn’t travel across the world (or wherever) do to things I do at home. I want to embrace everything about the place I’m travelling to and that means busy itineraries in order to see everything that I can. I travel with the philosophy that I might never return to that place and I never want to regret not doing something.

So that means I won’t be spending hours blogging or reading like I would at home. Sure, I do that stuff in my downtime or while en route to a new location while away; but I don’t plan for me to have those moments during my trip. If I do manage to get some stuff done it’s a bonus.

Basically, my blog gets neglected in the sense I’m not visiting daily while travelling but I do think about it and my content while I’m away.

Here are some of the things I do before and during my vacation to keep up with my blog’s content and reviews:

Scheduling Posts

I schedule all the posts on my blog well in advance of their posting dates. I’ve been doing this since my first year of blogging and it has paid off immensely. As I write this (February 2018), I have posts scheduled well into October 2018! (And at the time that this is published in October 2018, I have posts scheduled well into April 2019). That means I can leave my blog for a few days and not worry about posting new content on a regular basis (or getting internet access to do so). You probably didn’t even know I was away because I had been posting regularly 😉

Learn More: Scheduling Blog Posts |  How to Start Scheduling Posts

So of course, I recommend that you schedule some planned posts while away on vacation. Sure, they can be reviews but I recommend special content like tags or memes instead. This is the stuff that isn’t necessarily date specific and you can write well in advance and keep in your draft folder until you need them. It will require a bit of planning and time on your end to write some extra posts but you’ll thank yourself later when you find out you won’t have the time to hit “publish” while away.

Access to my Schedule via OneDrive

I keep track of all the book deadlines I have as well as my blog’s posting schedule in one Word Document. If anyone but me opened that document, they’d probably be confused out of their minds but it makes sense to me!

>>SERIESous Tips: Keeping Organized

OneDrive is basically a cloud for Microsoft products–it’s like DropBox or Google Drive. Now that I’m no longer in school, I don’t use it as much but I still use it for my blog. In it, I have my blogging templates, common book themes, book summaries/recaps, and my master schedule. It syncs anytime I have internet to any of my devices and I can also access it via the web. I can even access the documents offline on my phone if I need to.

My point here is that I like having my Master Book/Blog schedule handy so that I know what books to read and when. Can I start a random book or do I need to read something else for review purposes? Having that document handy wherever I go has really helped me be more productive when it comes to reading both before and during my trip.

I do have post templates saved as draft posts on the blog as well but the master/most-up-to-date file is the Word document.

Avoid Deadlines / Posting Commitments

Most of the time, you know well in advance when you are going to be on an extended vacation. Sometimes you don’t but that’s ok. My point here is make sure you don’t schedule yourself for any blog tours or promotional posts while you are away. I make sure to keep track of all tours/ARCs I’ve requested so I have a general idea of what I might be committed to reading and posting in the future.

>>SERIESous Tips: Keeping Organized — ARCS

Not only will you create pressure for yourself by creating a deadline to read something but you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle in terms of content. While most blogging tour groups provide you the necessary media and such a week in advance of a tour, some don’t! So take that into consideration before you hit request–especially if your time and/or internet connection is up in the air! You might not be able to fulfill your reviewer obligations and that may dampen future opportunities.

>>Discussion: Lessons Learned from Doing Blog Tours

Jot Down Reviews/Thoughts After Finishing a Novel

One of the biggest factors in terms of blog maintenance is my internet connection. I don’t always have one wherever I go or one readily available at all times. That means I can’t access my blog or even the Goodreads App on my phone. In the last two years, I’ve come to rely heavily on the Goodreads App to jot down some of my thoughts after finishing a novel so I have a base to create my review. But without an internet connection, I can’t really do that.

What I started doing was using my Note App on my phone and writing my thoughts there. I’d mark my start and end dates; write some common themes; note some similar reads; and write my full review. Basically, I’d do everything I normally would do in a post just without the HTML and the book’s metadata. Then, I send that to myself via email when I return home or have internet connection and copy and paste into my templates.

When I came back from my trip in February, I had 7 reviews to write. Normally this would take me hours and I would be pulling my hair out because I wouldn’t remember everything about the books I read. However, thanks to my notes, I was able to churn out reviews like a boss. All I had to do was paste in my thoughts (tweak them a little but not much) and format the post accordingly. What should have taken me a full day only took 2 hours! Amazing!

Keeping Up With Emails / Requests

I don’t get a lot of emails pertaining to my blog but I do subscribe to a lot of email lists for blog tours, book deals and author newsletters. I never realized how many until I didn’t check my Gmail account for a few days and found my inbox stuffed!

One of the nice things about Gmail is that you can separate your inbox into 4 folders that emails are automatically filtered into upon arrival. I’ve sorted mine like this:

  • Primary: Publishing contacts; request submissions on my blog; other
  • Social: commenting feeds; Bloglovin’; Hellobar updates
  • Promotions: author newsletters; book deals; giveaways; Netgalley
  • Updates: blog tour lists; review opportunity lists

I’ve found that this helps me tackle my inbox when I have to go through lots of emails. First, I glance through and delete anything that has “expired” (ex. deals for a specific day). Then I go through and swipe my way through all the emails and star anything that needs follow-up. Then I do a massive delete and work my way through the ones that need my attention.

I have a plug-in for Gmail called Boomerang which lets me pause my inbox (though I’ve never used it). I also use that plug-in to schedule emails to send out. This is especially helpful when I have some review opportunity follow-ups that require the emailed links when the post goes live.

Creating a Worklist via Trello

I’ve praised this online tool before but I wanted to share how I use it while I’m away. The great thing about Trello is that you can use it offline. I’ve got it on my phone so I can create review cards and file them accordingly offline and they will be synced when I get an internet connection. That way, I have a worklist of sorts to complete when I return and I know what I need to do for my blog.

>>SERIESous Tips: Using Trello to Keep Track of Reviews


I hope you found some of my tips and tricks helpful!

What do you do while away on vacation when it comes to reading and blogging?

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Trope Thursday: Crime Families [7]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


So I haven’t been the most proactive about getting these posts out on a monthly basis but that’s ok! I’m back this month with a new trope!

I dunno how I came up with this trope but it was on my list of topics for the year. I think as a society we have this fascination with the law and the people who break it. You see it everywhere from court trials of infamous cases to fictional TV shows based on crimes (Criminal Minds, Law and Order, CSI) to the people/families who commit the crimes (Sons of Anarchy, The Sopranos). I know I’m a sucker for a good “crime family” story and I’ll explain why below.

October’s Trope: Crime Families

Definition:

crime family is a unit of an organized crime syndicate, particularly the Mafia (both in Sicily and in the United States), often operating within a specific geographic territory. In its strictest sense, a family (or clan) is a criminal gang, operating either on a unitary basis or as an organized collection of smaller gangs (e.g., cellsfactionscrews, etc.). In turn, a family can be a sole “enterprise”, or part of a larger syndicate or cartel.

~Wikipedia (“Crime Family“)

 

For the sake of this post, I’m sticking with books or series that involve families that perform syndicated crime. I’m not focusing on characters that have had run-ins with the law or simply have a criminal past. I’m focusing on books that have organized groups that perform crimes.

Common Features:

  • Dark love
  • Possibility for Forbidden/Taboo Love
  • Loyalty
  • Violence
  • Crimes
  • Mafia
  • Revenge
  • Motorcycle Clubs
  • Debts to be Paid

What I Like About The “Crime Families” Trope:

I love books that have me on the edge of my seat and I find books that centre around crime families have that suspense to them. You never know who to trust; there’s always the risk of mortal danger; and the stakes always seem to be higher. It makes for a thrilling read.

I’m a sucker for a good villain and I find your crime family stories supply some truly evil and despicable bad guys.

I also like the aspect of family and loyalty to that family. Some of these families can be so dysfunctional that they work so it’s a neat aspect to watch unfold. They say blood is thicker than water and I think that always rings true in novels that focus around crime families.

What I Dislike About The “Crime Families” Trope:

I sometimes find that the books can go too far with the “shock factor” and things seem out of hand. Then that just makes the whole plot seem ridiculous.

While I do enjoy the occasional dark romance, I sometimes find romances in crime family stories really straddle that line of toxic and unhealthy. Yes, fiction is fiction but I don’t overly enjoy how normalized and romanticized some of these toxic relationships get in these books.

Books that Use the “Crime Families” Trope Well:

Perhaps one of the darkest novels I’ve ever read, I loved this serialized series for many reasons. A kick-butt heroine bent on revenge, a passionate romance and some pretty dire circumstances, this novel will keep you on your toes! It’s the darker side of a motorcycle club.

>>Series Review: Gypsy Brothers

 

This series is all about family and the loyalty you feel to that family (or maybe why you don’t). There’s just so many layers to this series and it provides ample character development throughout. Add to it an overarching plot with the motorcycle club and you’ve got yourself one wild ride.

>>Series Review: Thunder Road

 

Others: Son of the Mob  |  Heist Society

Books that Didn’t Use the “Crime Families” Trope Well:

This series is here for two reasons: 1) the somewhat abusive romance and 2) the boring leads. Sometimes I thought these two had great chemistry and then our “hero” would “show his dominance” and it just turned me off immediately. It was cringe-worthy–even though I had prepared myself for the darker romance.

>>Series Review: Kingpin Love Affair

 

“You know when teenagers attempt to act like adults and it just makes everything a little awkward? That’s what the plot is in this story.”

Everything here is super over dramatic thanks to the young ages of the cast. It just pushed the drama and the like over the top and made everything seem unbelievable. I think if this was a New Adult Series with older leads, it would have been better. This was definitely a guilty pleasure read for me because it’s like a bad, cheesy TV show.

>>Series Review: Made Men

 

Others: Once Upon a Crime Family  |  Crossing Stars


Do you enjoy books with the “Crime Families” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: September 2018

September 2018

September got off to a very rough start. I nearly DNF’d more books in the first 2 weeks than I did in all of August. So understandably, I felt myself getting into a bit of a reading slump by mid-month. Not fun. Was my crazy work schedule to blame? Was it my plan to only read sequels for the month of September? I’m not sure but it has been a long time since I’ve gone through what I consider to be a major reading slump so it was an unwelcome feeling.

>> SERIESous Discussion: 5 Reasons Why Novellas Stop Reading Slumps

But my mid-month, I seemed to be back on track. Like last September, I decided to make this past month all about reading sequels. Overall, with the exception of a few audiobooks and a reading challenge title, I did a pretty good job. Out of the 15 books I started and finished within this month, 10 were sequels. That’s means 67% of the titles I read this month were sequels! And while I didn’t read near as many books as I wanted to (or any of the ones I had actually listed to read), I’m still really happy that I was able to finish some pending series reviews and make a dent in my 52 Sequels Challenge.

In other news, I discovered that my new default audiobook speed is now 1.5X! When I first started listening to audiobooks, I kept the speed at 1X but I found that some narrators were talking too slowly so I sped it up to 1.25X in the last few months. But lately,even that’s too slow too! It’s crazy to me because even last year that would have been wayyy to fast to listen to. It’s been a great change though because (obviously) the books don’t take as long as to finish so I’m able to get through more in a month. Which I think is improving my overall enjoyment of the novels because they don’t seem as dragged out as they would otherwise.

 

thoughts

Total for September 2018: 13 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 5 Books

Last September: 10 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read + 0 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I had an absolute blast listening to the audiobook! This was such a charming contemporary story and exactly what I wanted–and needed–it to be!

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


This book had all the right checks for me–Canadian Author, Fantasy, Competition–but it fell terribly flat. I don’t think it helped that I had a mediocre reading month either. This book just couldn’t hold my attention with its stiff writing and insta-love romance.

 

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:

October 2, 2018

October 9, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

25%

10%

Total # of Books Finished

288

120

Total # of Reading Hours

2551

2445

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Tips: List of Blog Tour & Review Groups

Most Viewed Review

Standalone Review: Rush

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: DNF’d 1 Selection & 2 Sequels | 16 of 25 Titles Read – Behind!
Goodreads Challenge: 15 books added | 185/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 7 titles added | 39/52 Sequels – Behind!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 2 books added | 24/36 Books – Behind!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

In February 2017, I created a challenge for myself to bring my Want to Read Goodreads Shelf to 500 books. By the end of December 2017, I had brought the shelf down from 1205 to 511 books! The ultimate goal for 2018 is to get that number lower than 500 and also bring down my “sequel” shelf as well. I’ve decided that every quarter I will check my stats to see how I’m doing when it comes to cleaning up my TBR

Currently

December 31, 2017

Want to Read (New)

490

511

To Read (Sequels)

302

301

I feel really good about my numbers as they stand. I’ve been consistently under 500 for my “new” TBR items for the last few months so I’m optimistic I can meet my goal of less than 500 by the end of the year. It would be nice to see my “sequel” reads decrease a little more by the end of the year. I think some of those numbers are inflated (I haven’t been the most proactive in removing sequels from series I’ve decided to pass on from that list) but in some ways, it’s expected that when I read books from my “new” shelf, the sequels will be added to my “sequels” shelf.

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 new to me series + 3 previously started series):

See Me (See Me, #1)
Pass

Nearly Broken (Nearly, #1)
Keep

Weekends Required (Danvers, #1)
Pass

Beautiful Chances (Beautiful, #1)
Pass

Breaking Nova (Nova, #1)
Pass

Beneath Your Beautiful (Beautiful, #1)
Pass

Fall into Forever
Keep

Star Struck (Lights, Camera, #2)
Keep

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
Keep

Playing with Her Heart (Caught Up in Love #5)
Keep

Pass: 5 | Keep: 5

Grand Totals YTD — Pass: 31 | Keep: 39

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. However, since I participated in ARC August, I decided to do an update last month to see if the challenge had an impact on my ARC review status and I wanted to continue with my quarterly tradition by doing one for the month of September.

My Progress for January to September, 2018:

ARCs Read: 71  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+2*  |  Upcoming: 3

(August’s State: ARCs Read: 66  |   ARCs Overdue: 1*  |  Upcoming: 4+1(u))

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

Going Forward:

ARC August helped A LOT in getting my ARC list under control. This is definitely a much more manageable TBR list. So far, I’m right on track when it comes to sticking to my 2018 Reading Plan of limiting my ARCs on a monthly basis to 3. I’ve really gotten better at not signing myself up for every blog tour that peaks my interest and I haven’t been browsing Netgalley for titles either. I have a silly work schedule for October and a vacation planned where I won’t be reading much so that really helped me stick to my limits.

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:


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

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SERIESous Discussion: How I Became a Two-Timing Book Reader


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!


Five years ago, if you asked me how many books I was currently reading, I would have said one.
If you asked me today, I’d say at least two, if not three.

Over time, many of our habits evolve and my reading habits are no exception.

I was a pretty serial monogamist when it came to reading a few years ago. Meaning: I’d only read one book at a time. Why? Well, I liked the idea of getting through books quickly and efficiently. It seemed more productive for me to keep my attention on one book at a time so that’s what I did.

There were really only 2 reasons why I would start a second book while reading another.

One: I needed to read it for school.

Two: my current read was very long (or not completely holding my attention) and I needed to split up my reading time. I found that by reading only bits at a time, as I read something else, helped to keep me interested and subsequently finish the long/not-fully-invested-in book. DNFing a book was something I rarely did then; I toughed out nearly all the books I read (with some disastrous consequences).

Fast forward to now and you will see my reading habits have changed quite a bit.

Now, I have at least 2 books on the go at all times. Sometimes, I even have a third! Gah! The old me wouldn’t recognize the reader I’ve now become! It’s amazing how something you do everyday can change over the years without you really noticing the shift immediately.

Why the change?

I think there are a number of reasons why I’ve become a bit of a two-timer when it comes to reading.

ONE: I listen to audiobooks on a regular basis.

Now that I commute to work multiple times a week by driving, I need something to keep me entertained in my car. I went with audiobooks instead of the radio or my iPod and I am so glad that I did! Listening to audiobooks as I drive allows me to feel productive while simultaneously making the trip feel faster.

>> Learn how audiobooks have changed my monthly reading habits!

>> SERIESous Tips: 5 Ways to Get into Audiobooks

So now, I always have a physical book on the go as well as an audiobook that I usually reserve for car rides (or dog walks) only.

TWO: I’m a Mood Reader

I’ve always had a bit of a pattern when it comes to reading. Say I just finished a YA fantasy novel, I usually pick up a New Adult romance right after. And after that, I pick up another non-contemporary novel and alternate back and forth. Other times, I read multiple books in that genre because I’m just in a genre-binge phase.

But sometimes, it depends on the type of novel I’ve just finished. For example, if I just finished a dark romance, I usually read 2 “lighter” romances right after to bring me back to a more happier place. Sometimes I’ll even start that lighter book while I read the darker one just to balance out my mood and give me something else to think about. That’s how I often find myself with multiple physical books on the go.

THREE: ARC / Request Responsibilities

For the most part, I usually only stick to one physical book at a time plus my audiobook. I find now that I take on more ARCs and participate in more blog tours, I’ve integrated my various deadlines into the order of books to read.

When I read an ARC, I usually try to only read the ARC and not pick up something else. I want to give the ARC my full attention because I’m being asked to write a fair review of it. But sometimes, I get last minute requests or the street teams I’m on have a sudden, surprise release and I try my best to get my review done in a timely manner to help the author out. So that might mean I start that ARC while finishing another novel in order to meet my deadlines.

FOUR: I Have More Time to Read in a Day

Because I my job involves shift work, I often have couple days off in a row after completing a stretch. While I love nothing more than to stay in bed all day and read, I sometimes find I don’t have the attention span to read only one book in a day. I liken it to watching TV. I love a good binge-watch as much as the next person, but sometimes, you’ve got to mix it up a bit and watch something else or do something else in between episodes.

>> SERIESous Discussion: My Reading Habits by Month

This idea goes hand in hand with the mood reader in me. I enjoy reading a couple chapters of one book and then switching to another within the hour and repeating the process throughout the day. Sure, it’s probably more productive to only read one book at a time but I find the changes keep my mind and attention fresh for each book.

FIVE: It’s Part of my “To DNF or Not to DNF” Strategy

I mentioned before that in the past, I used to break up “Book A” into smaller chunks at a time while reading “Book B” so that I could eventually finish “Book A”. Three years ago I rarely DNF’d books and pushed myself to finish them regardless of my enjoyment. As a result, I went through a lot of reading slumps and that wasn’t cool with me.

I worked really hard on becoming comfortable with DNFing books in 2017; on putting down books that just weren’t capturing my attention or weren’t enjoyable to me. And in turn, I had a great reading year in 2017 with only a few minor slumps every couple of months that I quickly got over.

>> SERIESous Discussion: DNFing ARCs

One strategy I employed for books I was on the fence about DNFing was starting another novel I wanted to read. I found that by stepping away from the book in question, I was able to determine if I was truly invested in finding out how it all ends and if I wanted to keep reading. If I wasn’t, I stopped and marked it as DNF’d. And because I had already started another book that I was enjoying, I didn’t go into that slump of “what do I read now?” and dwelling too long in the disappointment that can surface when DNFing a book you were excited to read.


I know that reading multiple books at a time isn’t a ground-breaking thing. Lots of people have been doing it for years. But for me, it’s a method I’ve really only embraced in the last year or so as a regular habit of my everyday reading and I wanted to investigate why. I can’t wait to see what my habits are in 5 years from now!

How many books do you read at one time and what is your reasoning?

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Monthly Inventory: August 2018

August 2018

What a jammed packed month this turned out to be! Between readathons and vacations, I had a lot on the go. So August was never a dull month (and if it was, I just DNF’d the book I was reading :P)

August was all about my personal TBR list (ie books I own) with the Make Me Read It Readathon and cleaning up some long overdue ARCs for the various Street Teams I’m a part of via ARC August. Overall, I had a great time with both challenges and accomplished what I wanted to do. (You can read my final recaps on each further down).

Otherwise, August was a little bit out of the norm for me. A lot of the books I’ve had my eye on purchasing went on sale (YAY!) so I bought more books in a one week span than I have all year, but the deals were too good to pass up. I had also imposed a “no borrowing from the library” ban on myself for the summer and I stuck with it (surprisingly). The only time I broke that was to get some specific books for my challenges.

Like I did last September, I will be exclusively reading series sequels for the month of September. I’ll list some of the books I plan to read below but the idea is only read books for series I’ve already started. This year, I’m alternating between series I’ve read over the years and series I just started this year.

thoughts

Total for August 2018: 19 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 4 Books

Last August: 17 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 2 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


This book just blew me away! I loved every minute of it! It was like the perfect hybrid of some of my favourite Science Fiction/Dystopian novels.

Biggest Let Down (DNF)


I’ve had this ARC forever and the personal hype was high but I just couldn’t get into this story at all.


posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Monthly Inventory: July 2018

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: The Right Fit

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: The Cage & The Diabolic | 14 of 25 Titles Read – Slightly Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 19 books added | 169/190 Books – Ahead
52 Sequel Challenge: 4 Sequels | 29/52 Sequels – Slightly Behind
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 3 books added | 19/36 Books – Slightly Behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 new to me series + 3 previously started series):

Escaping Me (Escaping, #1)
Pass

Let Love In (Love, #1)
Pass

Forever Innocent (The Forever Series, #1)
Keep

Reckless Longing (Reckless, #1)
Keep

Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1)
Keep

The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire (Greek Billionaire, #1)
Pass

Just One Song (Just One Song, #1)
Keep

The Right Moves (The Game, #3)
Pass

Losing My Balance by Helena Newbury
Keep

Killer Frost (Mythos Academy, #6)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

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

 

My goal was to read 3 of the most voted for books during the readathon (and read the rest by the end of the year). Unlike last year, I managed to read all three books in the timeframe and complete my goal! I even attempted to read a 4th book from the list after the readathon but ended up DNFing it 🙁 But still, I’m really happy I managed to get meet my goal (and contribute to my other reading challenges in the process) and plan to get to the rest in October.

  

My goal for this challenge was to read a total of 6 ARCs and I ended up reading a total of 7 and DNF’d 2.

The Emperor's Daughters Pretend I'm Yours War and Love You Promised Me Forever (Forever Yours, #1) Heart of a Liar (Unforgivable #2) Heart of a Prick (Unforgivable #3)

 

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I usually only update every quarter. However, since I participated in ARC August, I decided to do an update to see if the challenge had an impact on my ARC review status.

My Progress for January to August, 2018:

ARCs Read: 66  |   ARCs Overdue: 1*  |  Upcoming: 4+1(u)

(June’s State: ARCs Read: 54  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+6*  |  Upcoming: 7)

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

(u) Unreceived ARC

Going Forward:

I’m really happy with the progress I made this month with my ARCs! It was great to get some of my backlogged titles out of the dust and read. I’ve done my best to stick to my limit of no more than 3 ARCs a month and have limited my review requests on my blog to only author’s I have reviewed in the past. Hopefully, I can maintain that for the rest of the year so I can concentrate on getting my reading challenges met for the year!

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

September is all about the sequels! This upcoming month, I’ve decided to alternate between series I started before 2018 and series I’ve started in 2018 as well as alternating genre types (contemporary then non-contemporary). Of course, I’ve integrated some of the my other reading challenges with my picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for September:

East (History Interrupted #2) Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, #2) Twice Burned (Love is Messy Duet, #2) Angel Fever (Angel, #3) Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor, #2) By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)

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

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SERIESous Discussion: Book Formats by Month


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!


Last month, I wrote a discussion post looking at how many books I read in a month and compared my 2016 and 2017 reading years. Doing that post and my “Where Do My Books Come From” post in December 2017 had me curious about the book formats I read on a monthly basis.

As you can conclude from my Where Do My Books Come From? post, I get my books from a variety of places. Nearly 60% of the books I read in a year come from the library & review copies whereas only 30% are from my personal owned collection. Of course, that’s something I’ve worked on changing this year as per my 2018 Reading Plan and we will see if I succeeded in December (but so far so good!).

But are those books I’m getting from library physical books or eCopies? How do the audiobooks I listen to impact my monthly stats? Do I read owned books for my Kobo or Kindle? How many review copies am I actually reading in a month? Those were the questions I asked myself while composing my Monthly Reading Habits post and now I am going to answer them.

In General:

eARCs (Authors/Tours/Netgalley) | Kindle (Owned) | Kobo (Owned) | Physical (Library) | Audio (Library) | eLibrary (Library)

I’ll be the first to admit that that graph is a lot to look at. I break things down further on and give a little more context but I wanted to provide the overview. Broadly speaking, in 2017 I averaged 20 books a month and I read those 20 books in a variety of different formats.

Digitally Owned & Digital Review Copies:

eARCs (Authors/Tours/Netgalley) | Kindle (Owned) | Kobo (Owned)

I had very mixed feelings when I saw this particular graph breakdown. On the positive side, I was happy to see that I read at least one book from my personal collection a month for 2017; but considering I averaged 20 books a month, it would be nice if that number was higher.

The other thing that really shook me up was the number of ARCs/review copies (from here out I will refer to all as ARCs) I read in a month. In 2017, according to my Reading Plan for 2017, I had a guideline of 3 ARCs per month. As you can see, I really only stuck to that plan for 3 months of the year. March and December were particularly bad–I nearly tripled the expected number.

Why so many ARCs despite the self-imposed rule? I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to miss an opportunity. A lot of the ARCs I read are sequels for already started series or are by authors who I like to support in any way I can. So while I may have already planned on the 3 books I’d read for X month, a last minute release or tour/opportunity can cause me to read more than I anticipated. It was something I noticed near the end of 2017 and one thing I really tried to keep in mind when creating my 2018 Reading Plan so that I wasn’t dedicating all my time to ARCs this year. The year started rough but I did my best to right the course and have gotten a lot better at saying “no”.

Borrowed From the Library:

Physical (Library) | Audio (Library) | eLibrary (Library)

I always thought that 80% of my books came from the library but my post investigating my books sources busted that myth. I actually get about 36% of the books I read in a year from the library.

It would be interesting to see what this graph would look like 3 years ago when I tended to have 30 books on hold at the library at one time. (Yeah, you see why I needed a change!) Back then I was reading a lot of eBooks from my local library. Now that I read more ARCs and try to read more of the books I already own, the number of books I get from my library’s eCatalogue stays pretty consistent month to month.

Why the sudden stop in physical novels? It’s mostly a convenience thing. My local library is pretty small but shares its collection with other ones in the area. Normally that means we have one copy and it usually is at another location so it’ll have to be brought in. If it’s a very popular book, I’ll be waiting a while. I find my eBook selection is much bigger, has more copies of the more popular books and has a shorter loan period so books turnaround much faster. Of course, there are no late fees with eBooks and I can get them any time without leaving my house which is handy for someone who works shift work.

My consistency with audiobooks is AMAZING! I’ll be honest, the main reason I did this post was to see if reading audio books impacts my monthly reading stats and clearly the answer is YES! As per my previous discussion post, I know that I read less books in 2017 compared to 2016 (21 books less specifically), averaging 20 books to the previous 22 books a month. But what if I eliminated audiobooks from my monthly totals?

2017JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecTotal
Difference:00444455344643
w/ Audiobooks231719192226242110161824239
w/o Audiobooks23171515182219167121418196

So clearly, listening to audiobooks was a great habit to pick up in 2017 if the numbers are anything to go by. Most of my listening is done during my drive to work (which is 2 hours roundtrip) but I do listen to audiobooks when walking my dog as well. Nevertheless, if I’m working a lot, I (obviously) get through more. It also depends on the length of the book as well and if I’ve adjusted the speed or not. Regardless, they have a positive impact on my reading stats each month and my drive wouldn’t be the same without them!

>>SERIESous Tips: 5 Ways to Get Into Audiobooks!

Moving Forward:

I learned a lot from doing this post. Mainly that audiobooks have become a key format for my monthly reading habits. It also reaffirmed the fact that I have to get better at saying no to ARCs and sticking to my reading plan (something I’ve been working on exclusively for the last 3 months). I also want to make reading books I have purchased a higher priority. While I’ve been good about not buying as many books as I used to, I still have quite a collection to tackle.

What book formats do you read in a month?

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Monthly Inventory: July 2018

July 2018

Where did July go?! This month flew by in every way! Whether it was reading, life or work, I feel like the days just melted away in the summer heat.

I had a great July when it came to reading. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt in control of my reading. I wasn’t pressuring myself to read books by a certain deadline; I wasn’t overwhelmed with books out from the library and I could read whatever I wanted when I wanted. That’s the type of summer reading I like and want on my lazy days off and it’s something I’ve been striving for since I created my blog 5 years ago.

Some of my highlights from the month:

    • I decided not to put any books on hold at the library for July and August
    • I did a mini Goodreads purge of books I don’t have copies nor do I want to buy
      • I managed to remove 15 books from my TBR!
    • I have officially received and reviewed 100 books on Netgalley!
    • I started to schedule posts into 2019!

August is going to be a packed month for reading as well as life. I have some vacation time off but I’ve packed those days with events and the like. As for reading, I’m joining in on the annual Make Me Read It Readathon (a personal fave event) and participating in my second ARC August. So it’s going to be a busy one!

 

thoughts

Total for July 2018: 21 Books Read + 1 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 2 Books

Last July : 20 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read + 3 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)


I’m just so in love with this series!

Biggest Let Down (★★)


My gut told me to DNF this one in the first quarter but I stuck it out. It was just OK as I really struggled with it and ended up disappointed.

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Make Me Read It: Vote

Most Viewed Review

Series Review: Royally by Emma Chase

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: Added 2, DNF’d 1 | 9 of 25 Titles Read – On Track!
Goodreads Challenge: 23 books added | 150/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 5 Books Added | 29/52 Sequels – On Track!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 7 books added | 19/36 Books – Slightly Behind!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

Make Me Read It: August 2018

It’s back! Hosted once again by hosted by Val @ The Innocent Smiley and Ely @ Tea and Titles. There’s still time to vote for what books I should read for the upcoming readathon! My goal is to read 3 of the 10 books you vote for during the readathon (and then the rest by the end of the year).

Vote here!

ARC August

I had a lot of fun participating in this for the first time last year and thought it was a great way to get through some of those ARCs I have still sitting on the back burner. This classic summer event hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat!

Most of these are titles I’ve received through Street Teams with the idea that “you get to them when you get to them” but I’ve really been slacking (as you could see in my last State of the ARC post last month). So the plan for this August is to get to most of these titles by the end of the month! I want to read the 3 that are due for August and at least 3 more from my ASAP pile. Here’s some of the reads I have on the go:

From Here to You (Crash and... Blood Will Out Heart of a Thief (Unforgivable #1) The Emperor's Daughters Captive of a Commoner The Right Fit

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I do this on a monthly basis by going through 7 “new to me” books and 3 “sequel” novels and deciding what is a keeper and what is a pass.

This month:

Leo
Keep

Put Me Back Together
Keep

Picture Perfect (Picturing Perfect, #1)
Pass

The Thrill of It (No Regrets, #1)
Keep

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
Pass

Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy, #1)
Pass

Maybe This Time (Maybe, #1)
Pass

Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2)
Keep

Crossed Lines (Blurred Lines, #3)
Keep

Truth or Dare (His Wicked Games, #2; The Cunningham Family, #2)
Keep

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

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

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month:

 

Each month I have a list of 11 books I’ve selected to read for that particular month. These books include review copies and reading challenge picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for August:

The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1) The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1) Immortal Reign (Falling Kin...

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

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Trope Thursday: Cheating [6]

Trope Thursdays: A monthly feature where I look at various reading tropes. Each month I will pick a trope and examine all aspects of it. I’ll discuss the classic features of the trope, what I love (or hate) about it and share some books that use the trope in their plots.


For me, this trope is almost always a “no-go”. I just don’t want to read about it when I escape to my “happy place” of reading because it depresses the hell out of me. Sure, it can add to the story in a way tat can be positive (I’ll talk about that below), but most of the time, it brings up unpleasant drama that I would rather not read…

July’s Trope: Cheating

Definition:

Cheating is the receiving of a reward for ability or finding an easy way out of an unpleasant situation by dishonest means.

~Wikipedia (“Cheating“)

Unfortunately, cheating cannot always simply be defined as having sex with someone outside of your relationship. Cheating comes in a variety of shapes and forms, but they are all equally devastating.

~DatingTips.Match.com (“Different Forms of Cheating in a Relationship“)

For the sake of this post, I’m classifying cheating as a situation in a book where a person in a committed relationship either has an emotional or physical relationship outside of that partnership. I’m not including books where the lead was cheated on in the past by a previous partner as that happened prior to the current story.

Simply put, physical cheating is the act of being sexually intimate with someone other than your spouse or significant other.

Emotional cheating may include physical intimacy but not necessarily so. Emotional cheating may begin as an innocent friendship. Eventually, an emotional cheater finds himself intimately confiding in the person, sharing thoughts, dreams and an emotional closeness that would normally be reserved for his mate.

~DatingTips.Match.com (“Different Forms of Cheating in a Relationship“)

Common Features:

  • Unfaithfulness
  • Love triangles
  • Possibility for Forbidden/Taboo Love
  • Torn between two friends/brothers/sisters
  • Unrequited love for a best friend
  • Character dating someone else when they meet

What I Love Like About The “Cheating” Trope:

I will admit that there is a certain suspense that can come about from a cheating situation–depending on the book. You start asking yourself, what will the fallout be when the truth is revealed? (See Avoiding Commitment). And if there is a love triangle involved, who will be with who in the end? (See Something Borrowed). If done well, it can add this anticipation and tension that can suck you in as a reader.

I think the biggest aspect of including unfaithfulness in a book is the potential to grow the characters. One of the first books I ever read with the cheating trope was Emily Griffin’s Love the One You’re With. Yes, I read it probably 20 years too early when I was 14 but the whole novel explored Ellen’s affair shortly after her first year of marriage with the guy she considers to be “the one that got away”. And while this book didn’t work for me in any way, the idea of using the affair to grow Ellen as a character is something I can appreciate as a reader. (Though it definitely does happen in that book). It tests the character’s spirit, morals and emotions which can really help to evolve them as a leading character.

What I Dislike About The “Cheating” Trope:

I’m not even a fan of reading sex scenes between characters who aren’t our two leads before they even meet. Icky. I’m one of those people who likes the “no cheating” disclaimer at the bottom of some of my contemporary romance synopses.

Perhaps this is the wrong view to have, but I view affairs as a mostly negative thing so I don’t want to read about them in my downtime. I don’t mind darker stories at all, I just find cheating to be a turn off.

I guess I don’t like how the characters can make decisions that aren’t logical to me. I get that emotions are high and so impulses can take control, but I often don’t like what those motivations turn the characters into. I just hate the dishonesty that comes about.

And more often than not, these situations involve a love triangle and I don’t enjoy books that have our cheater lamenting on and on about how torn they are between these two great people…

Books that Use the “Cheating” Trope Well:

I dunno if it helps that Darcy is such an unlikeable character that you can’t help but root for Dax to see why Rachel is the better option but this was a case where I didn’t mind the cheating. I think the other thing that helps is that Rachel has great personal growth from the affair. While  I would never condone cheating with your best friend’s fiance, Rachel does learn to become more assured in herself and fight for what she wants instead of being the doormat she has been her entire life.

>>Series Review: Darcy and Rachel

 

This is one of the only books I have ever read that has a “true love triangle” element to it (ie all three characters are in love with each other). The heart of this novel is Laney’s identity crisis and her relationships with both Armin and Blythe play crucial roles in that. The love triangle here provides an interesting dynamic to the story and one that keeps the reader on their toes as they watch Laney’s plan for revenge unfold.

>>Series Review: Avoiding

 

Others: No One Needs to Know

Books that Didn’t Use the “Cheating” Trope Well:

To be fair to this novel, it was originally published as a series of parts that was eventually combined into one novel so it does lack some of the depth you want. I was drawn in by the taboo nature of a girl falling in love with her mother’s boyfriend but I was never really sold on why these two would risk everything to be together.

>>Standalone Review: Illicit

 

This is a case of emotional cheating more than anything–which was interesting to read about for sure. However, I didn’t like how the situation made me dislike like Cami because her reasoning for stringing two guys along isn’t really explained. Sure, we get a good twist at the end that helps us understand her torn nature but I hated her reasoning throughout the novel about why she should stay in a long-distance relationship that clearly wasn’t working…

 

Others: The Vincent Boys


Do you enjoy books with the “cheating” Trope?

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Monthly Inventory: June 2018

June 2018

After a very busy May, June seemed like a break in a lot of ways. My main goal for the month was to catch up on ARCs and to read books I already had in my possession. And for the most part, I think I did that. I’m in much better shape now than I was at the start of June so I’m proud of myself. I would have liked to have spent more time on my blog as a whole but I did make the most of the spare moments I did have. The summer looks like it will be just as hectic at work but I’m starting to establish more of a routine so I’m optimistic I can make the most out of everything, including reading and blogging.

Since June is halfway through the year, I wanted to to focus on a mid-year review of all things. Like many people, I start the year with some lofty reading and blogging goals but I find by this point in the year, things just aren’t going the way I expected them to. I promised myself that I would re-evaluate my reading challenges and the like in June and tweak whatever wasn’t working going forward. So that’s what I plan to do in this Monthly Inventory post as well as my usual quarterly reviews that I do in this monthly feature.

Mid Year Freak Out Tag

I’ve seen this tag (and similar) floating around the blogosphere and thought it was a cute way to recap the year so far. This tag was originally created by Ely and Chami so thanks for that! I’ve altered some of the categories a little to fit my table presentation so hopefully everything is clear!

Best Book Read So Far

Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)

Best Sequel Read So Far

Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

New Release TBR

Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4)

Can’t Wait for Its Release

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3)

Biggest Disappointment

A Whole New World (A Twisted Tale #1)

Biggest Surprise

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Fave New Author

Love in the Friend Zone by Molly E. Lee

New Fictional Crush

Hothead by Stella Rhys
Drew

New Fave Character

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)
Magnus

Tear Jerker

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez

Made Me Happy

When It's Real

Fave Film Adaption

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

Fave Review Written

Prettiest Book Purchased

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

Need to Read by Year End

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)

 

thoughts

Total for June 2018: 14 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 3 Books

Last June: 17 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read + 4 DNFs

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Sweet Black Waves
It only took me two chapters to become completely enthralled by this Tristan and Isolde retelling. I felt every range of emotions while reading this and I am DYING for the sequel!

Biggest Let Down (DNF)

Gunslinger Girl
I’m not sure if this book was just marketed wrongly or if I interpreted everything about it wrong but this was a huge disappointment. Definitely not what I was expecting. I wanted a Western with a badass heroine and that was far from what this was. Instead, I got a dystopian novel set in the future with some allusions to the wild west and a heroine who was rather dull.

 

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:

June 30, 2018

June 30, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

23%

10%

Total # of Books Finished

2880

114

Total # of Reading Hours

2511

2309

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

Trope Thursdays: Love Triangles

Most Viewed Review

Blog Tour: Knocked Up

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 for all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 2 books read | 7 of 25 Titles Read – Slightly Behind
Goodreads Challenge: 14 books added | 132/190 Books – Ahead!
52 Sequel Challenge: 0 books added | 25/52 Sequels – On Track!
Tackling the TBR Challenge: 3 books added | 14/36 Books – Slightly Behind

View my Challenge Progress Here!

Mid Year Review:

I actually thought my stats would be much worse than they were since I have 2 good months of not really reading challenge titles. But I’ve pulled up my socks in the last 2 months and that has helped a bit. While I’m certainly behind on all my challenges, they are still within an obtainable grasp so I’m not going to modify them in any way. Most of the titles I have selected for July crossover for my various challenges so I think I will see an improvement in the near future.

 

In February 2017, I created a challenge for myself to bring my Want to Read Goodreads Shelf to 500 books. By the end of December 2017, I had brought the shelf down from 1205 to 511 books! The ultimate goal for 2018 is to get that number lower than 500 and also bring down my “sequel” shelf as well. I’ve decided that every quarter I will check my stats to see how I’m doing when it comes to cleaning up my TBR

Currently

December 31, 2017

Want to Read (New)

506

511

To Read (Sequels)

317

301

My Thoughts: I think it goes without saying that every time I lower the “new” shelf, the “sequel” shelf gets bigger. But I’m doing a good job of not adding too many books to my TBR each month. May was a tough month because I got a lot of great freebie reads from various newsletters. I also find that I’m not as picky as I once was with audiobooks–meaning I’m more willing to read a book in the audio version than the physical now that I listen to books on a regular basis and am very comfortable with them as a format.

 

Created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

I’ve seen this meme floating around and thought it was a great idea to help me tackle my TBR list and reach that less than 500 goal. The idea is to go through 5-10 books on your Goodreads TBR list chronologically and decide if they should stay or go. I usually do a big Goodreads Purge twice a year but I like the idea of doing a little bit at a time and have decided to do this on a monthly basis.

This month (7 “new to me” titles; 3 “sequels”):

Undeclared (Woodlands, #1)
Keep

No One's Angel (Chadwell Hearts, #1)
Keep

Come Away with Me (With Me in Seattle, #1)
Pass

The Proposition (The Proposition, #1)
Pass

Toxic Secrets (Secrets, #1)
Pass

Break Me Slowly (Shattered, #1)
Pass

Executive Seduction
Pass

Be with Me (Wait for You, #2)
Keep

By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)
Keep

Renegade (MILA 2.0, #2)
Pass

Pass: 4 | Keep: 6

Grand Totals since January — Pass: 18 | Keep: 22

Did I make any mistakes with my decisions? Let me know in the comments below!

While this is a monthly meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books, I however will only be updating every quarter.

Since May, I’ve been working really hard on limiting ARCs in order to make my reading more manageable.  Every month I give myself the allowance of requesting 3 ARCs as per my 2018 Reading Plan. So far, I’ve been following that rule when it comes to requesting titles for the summer. I’ve stopped browsing Netgalley on a regular basis; I keep review opportunities in my inbox for a few days before I make a decision; and I closed off direct requests through my blog until the fall.

My Progress for January to June, 2018:

ARCs Read: 54  |   ARCs Overdue: 2+6*  |  Upcoming: 7

(March’s State: ARCs Read: 31  |   ARCs Overdue: 4*  |  Upcoming: 12)

*Some of these books are from my Street Teams and they are “read ASAP” but I consider them to be overdue given the date I’ve received them.

Going Forward:

I’m in an OK position when it comes to ARCs. Of the ones upcoming, a lot aren’t due until August or September so I have some time. I do have a lot of street team reviews that I want to get read for July so hopefully I can squeeze them in. Only 2 ARCs are truly overdue so they are a big priority for July. So far, I’ve been doing a good job of sticking to 3 ARCs a month and not signing myself up for two many opportunities. I’ve really been working on my impulse control by letting opportunities sit for 24 hours and reevaluating if should sign up or not and it really seems to be helping!

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

 

Each month I have a list of 11 books I’ve selected to read for that particular month. These books include review copies and reading challenge picks. Here are some of the books I have ready to go for July:

Contrite (Contrite, #1) At Any Price (Gaming the System, #1) Fixed Forever (Fixed #6) Watching You Set the Night on Fire (Cottonbloom, #6) Book Boyfriend

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month? Have you done a mid-year review of your reading and blogging process?

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