Tag «monthly features»

Monthly Inventory: November 2017

November 2017

As I created this post, I struggled with how to describe the month of November. It seems like just yesterday I was plotting out my NaNoWriMo story and writing the first chapter. Overall, I think the best way to describe it all is panicked.

Just before my big trip in September, I noticed that I had neglected my two challenges for the year quite a bit. October wasn’t much of a help because real life got in the way and November was the month of finishing up the various requests I had taken on. I have a new plan for each of those challenges so you can find that below.

I also went through my first major reading slump of the year in November but I quickly got out of that. Look for a post in the new year about my tried and true tactic.

One positive is that I created my reading plan for 2018 based on my experiences of the last 3 months so hopefully that works out!

thoughts

Total for November 2017: 15 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read

Last November: 23 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 1 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Dance Off #1

This novel reminded me what I love in a great adult contemporary romance: sizzling sexual tension; strong leads and just the right amount of drama to keep you interested. I found a new must read author with Alexis Daria!

Biggest Let Down (DNF’d)

Reign of Shadows

I really wanted this to be the book that made me love Sophie Jordan’s works but alas, that was not the case. I DNF’d this one pretty quick and I think I’ve reached the conclusion that her books are definitely not for me.

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month (and compare it to last year’s numbers). While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

**NOTE: I finally figured out why my Kobo stats went all wonky a few months ago. For some reason books I had reopened lost their “read” status so they went away from my stats. So after going through 30 pages of books and marking them all as read again, my stats somewhat returned! It looks like my past library reads don’t count (hence the drop from 516 to 262) but now I can keep track of the books I own at the very least!**

As of:

November 30, 2017

November 30, 2016

Total % of Library Complete

22%

19%

Total # of Books Finished

262

516**

Total # of Reading Hours

2479

2082

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

 

TTT: Books I Want my Kids to Read

 

Most Viewed Review

 

DNF Series Review: Starbound

 

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: 9 of 25 Titles Read

New Target: Read the last 2 titles from 2012 and repeat challenge in 2018

Goodreads Challenge: Completed as of September 6
#ShelfLove Challenge: 1 TBR Item added this month

New Target: Technically, I’ve completed the challenge since I’m in my chosen range but I would like to hit 50 books by the end of 2017 and I’m currently just 5 books short

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None — what a fail of a challenge!
Classics Challenge: None

New Target: Let’s try again next year!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 619 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of October: 614 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books
  • Total # of Books Removed: 0

New Target: I hope to do a purge in December of back-listed titles and get this number closer to 500.

NaNoWriMo Update

Despite starting with one story and quickly scraping it for another I was way more interest it, I had a pretty good month of writing. While I didn’t win this year, I definitely wrote more than I have in the previous years combined! So that’s a big win for me. I created a kick ass outline that I will be using moving forward. I’m hoping to make writing a weekly thing (daily just isn’t going to work with my current work schedule) but I feel really good about how I left things despite not reaching that target word count.

I have quite a few review copies to get through these first two weeks but the rest of the month is dedicated to getting those last few titles in for my challenges. I’m excited to do my Top Picks post for 2017 (it’s going to be so tough to decide and I have new category ideas!); tweak my reading plan for 2018 and create a new monthly feature I’m excited to share with you all.

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

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

catchphrase

Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Want my Kids to Read

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

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books I Want my Children to Read

This list is a weird mixture of books I read in my childhood and books I’ve bought with the intention of sharing with my (someday) kids. Since 2011, my book purchases have been mostly eBooks but if there is a book or series I particularly love, I make an effort to buy it for my personal collection. So all these books on the list below are books I own (the exception being the Legend Series but that’s next on my list to buy!) and am holding on to with the hopes of sharing and passing on one day.

Why did I pick these books?

Well the classics from my childhood are Franklin, Bernstein Bears and Arthur. I spent countless hours as a kids reading those books with my family over the years. Nancy Drew is the ultimate classic–most of the Nancy Drew novels I own are from my mother’s childhood collection so they share a special place in my heart. I also adore mystery (my whole family does) and that’s something I want to pass on.

The rest (Legend, Winner’s Curse, Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games and The Infernal Devices) are some of my favourite YA series ever! They each feature strong characters, amazing worlds and brilliant plots. They helped shape my reading world and I want them to do the same for my kids one day.


Do we share any books? What’s your criteria for sharing books with your children?

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

Leave a Link to your TTT in the comments below!

Monthly Inventory: October 2017

October 2017

I can’t believe October has come and gone!

This month just flew by! It definitely helped that I spent a majority of it on vacation. I managed to get more books in than I expected–and in particular sequels for novels I’ve been putting off for awhile–so I always consider that a positive! My blogging lacked a little but I’ve got more time on my hands this month so I’ll be making up for lost time.

NaNoWriMo is happening again and I’m going to try my best to participate again this year. I’m not sure what story (I have two from the last two years I’ve started but not completed) I will be writing but I’m hoping this event will help instill in my the everyday habit of writing a little bit. If you participate and want to be buddies, here’s my profile.

thoughts

Total for October 2017: 16 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

Last October: 15 Books Read + 4 Novellas

October 2017’s DNFs: 1 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

NSFW

Ever since I finished Play last year, I’ve been waiting for Charlie’s story. AND BOY, IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I loved every minute of that book.

Biggest Let Down (DNF’d)

Fallen Isles Trilogy #1

I just found this book to be terribly slow. I was more than 60% in and not invested what-so-ever; which is not a good sign. So perhaps proceed with caution if you want to pick this up.


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: Currently Re-evaluating
Goodreads Challenge: Completed as of September 6
#ShelfLove Challenge: 1 TBR Items added
Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 614 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of September: 612 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

I blame some really good eBook deals for the sudden spike in my TBR numbers…

November is for Reading Challenge Catch-Up!

Since August, I’ve really failed with my personal reading challenges. My Goodreads one is easy because it counts everything I read but my challenges that are a little more specific have gone by the wayside.

In theory, I have more than enough time to salvage my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge. I have 15 books to read if I don’t count the sequels to get through by December 31st. I also have to finish 5 books for my #Shelflove Challenge as well. Completely do-able.

However, I went a little review copy crazy for the first half of November and this morning I got a little request happy at my library and took out 3 books that do not work for my challenges. I’m hoping with the time I have off from work in the next week, I can power through some novels and get myself in shape! Even if I get 3 books finished this month from my challenge, I can dedicate December to only challenge reads!


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

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

catchphrase

Monthly Inventory: September 2017

September 2017

This was a weird month.

In terms of reading: This wasn’t a very good month, but I always knew that would be the case. I spent half of the month on a much deserved vacation that had me reading only a couple pages every few days. I made up for some of that time on my many flights but it was nice just to see the world and not worry about getting books finished. However, I did pledge to only read sequels for the Month of September and in that respect, I did succeed. AND, I completed my Goodreads goal for the year which means the rest of the year is just a bonus for me.

In terms of blogging: While on vacation, my blog went down and I didn’t even know it! It seem to be a problem with my host who was moving servers so my site was down for a couple of days. I did have some scheduled posts though so be sure to check out my blog feed to see if you missed one!

thoughts

Total for September 2017: 10 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

Last September: 23 Books Read + 3 Novellas

September 2017’s DNFs: 0 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Black City Trilogy

I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to finish this series! What a phenomenal series (I gave every book a 5/5 which is quite the achievement!). This series always delivered and the finale was no different.

Biggest Let Down (★★ )

A Wicked Thing #2

I should have DNF’d this novel way before the 30% mark but my curiosity got the better of me. One of the slowest novels I have ever had to endure. I swear, 90% of this book was just rehashing things we had already discussed in the previous novel OR, even worse, in the previous chapter.

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month. While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

As of:

October 9, 2017

August 31, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

10%

19%

Total # of Books Finished

120

124

Total # of Reading Hours

2445

2418

Don’t ask me how I lost 4 finished books in the last month. This new Kobo update is really killing my stats!


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: Took September off

October’s 5Y5B picks: The LoopMaid of Secrets

Goodreads Challenge: Completed as of September 6
#ShelfLove Challenge: 0 TBR Items added

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 612 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of August: 606 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

 

November is Catch-Up!

I’ve really let my personal challenges fall to they wayside. But with my hours at work being reduced and no other commitments, I’m really going to use November to catch-up on series and novels I’ve let fall through the cracks. I really want my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge to be complete (or mostly complete) by 2018 and I would love to see a change in the percentage of my Kobo library that is finished. And it would be a fantastic bonus if I could get my TBR on Goodreads to be much closer to the 500 mark that I so desire.


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

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

catchphrase

SERIESous Tips: How to Start Scheduling Your Posts

Last year, I posted a Tips Post about Scheduling Posts. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the most helpful post ever: I mostly focused on why scheduling works for me and how I keep track of my schedule. Not a lot of sage advice.

I schedule everything well in advance–months usually–and I love it! It makes everything so much easier for me as a blogger. And when I tell people that, I get a lot of questions of “how do you schedule so far in advance”?

So I wanted to create a post with some tips/ideas on how I think you can get started. You don’t need to do all of these but I think one or two can get you on the right track!

Tip #1: Not Posting Everyday

This is just a personal preference for me but there is no way I could create enough content to post everyday (props to those that do!). Part of the reason has to do with Tip #2 below but the other reason is that I like time between my posts. I try to have at least 1 day between posts, ideally two.

One reason is that I don’t check my blog everyday for some reason or another. In turn, that means I only get to browse my subscription feed a couple times a week. When I do browse the feed, I see posts from the last 2-3 days anyways so I don’t see the need for me to post everyday to make sure people see my posts. Again, this is just a personal preference and I know everyone has a different thought of this!

Idea: Keep a calendar of when you plan to post! That way you can see what you are posting and when.

Tip #2: Schedule Certain Posts on Specific Days

This is the main reason why I’m able to schedule so many posts in advance. When I created my blog 4 years ago, I knew I wanted to focus mainly on book series. But I also knew that I wanted to post standalone and new series reviews–just not all the time. And so, I created Single Sundays & Fresh Fridays respectively. That means I only post standalone reviews on Sundays (unless it’s a promotional post) and I try to alternate them every other week. So, if I write 4 standalone reviews in a month, I have posts for almost 2 months (4 posts for 8 weeks). Pretty Sweet!

Idea: Weekly memes are a great way to get some day-specific posts or create your own feature that is weekday specific!

Tip #3: Spend a Day Writing Posts

I know that’s hard to do for some people but one of the reasons I schedule so many posts is that I get these spurts of inspiration and just churn out the posts. I then use my don’t-post-everyday & day-specific guidelines to schedule them throughout the upcoming weeks. I consider it an investment of sorts that pays off later when I go away on vacation (like I did with this post) or am going through a reading slump and I don’t have to worry about posting.

Idea: If you are a lengthy writer, try breaking the post up into segments or separate posts  (and post over a couple of days) to get more content!

Tip #4: Write Posts on Your Hiatus

People go on hiatuses for many reasons. I went on a lengthy one my first year of blogging simply because I didn’t have enough material to be posting consistently. So while on hiatus, I would write posts and schedule them for after my slated return. My reasoning: no one was expecting new posts during that time I was away so I didn’t need to use my newly crafted post immediately.

I know that this can be hard to do depending on your motivation for the hiatus, but this could even be a week randomly in a month where you focus solely on writing posts and not publishing them right away.

Tip #5: Draft, Draft Draft!

The drafting feature on WordPress is my favourite! Rarely do I have enough time to compose a post from start to finish. But I can often spare an hour or less everyday working on something for my blog.

I also like having those drafts started so when I do feel inspired to blog/write, I can just finish something I already started instead of creating something from scratch.

Pro-Tip: Make sure you leave notes to yourself so you can pick up where you left off! It’s easy to forget your train of thought if you write something over days instead of in one setting.

Tip #6: Get Comfortable with Blogging a Week (or more) Ahead

One of the downsides to scheduling posts is that you don’t get that instant gratification from publishing something you just wrote. That post you were so excited to share won’t be out there for days (or more) and it’s hard to contain your excitement sometimes.

For me, it doesn’t help that I have such a crappy memory either. So when that post I wrote two months ago finally publishes, I’m not entirely sure what I wrote. BUT, that gives me a great excuse to read over my post with a fresh set of eyes. I catch a TON of typos and mistakes when I do. Sure, it sucks that I already shared it but I like revisiting those posts and reliving the idea all over again.

My point though with this tip is that you have to focus on the week(s) ahead and not just the current week. That can be a hard change to get used to but it’s worth it. Especially when you can’t guarantee that you will have the time to create fresh content that week.

Pro-Tip: Instead of focusing on my posts for the current week (because they are already done), I instead get to spend more time blog hopping and doing site maintenance when I check on my blog.


Scheduling blog posts is an adjustment that needs to happen over time. Like any habit, you have to do what works best for you and that can mean you have to try a few techniques out before you find one that is perfect for you.

I hope that you find some of these tips helpful 🙂

Anything I Missed? Do You Schedule Your Posts?

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

catchphrase

SERIESous Discussion: Not Reporting Assaults in Novels


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!


I got inspired to write this post after reading a particular book (which I won’t name because it is a bit of a spoiler but I will vaguely recap the situation). After a scene where the heroine is sexually assaulted in the novel and decides not to press charges, I got really upset.

Here are some statistics:

From Statistics Canada:

  • Of every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only 6 are reported to the police
  • 1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
  • 11% of women have physical injury resulting for sexual assault

And a lot of women don’t report it because:

Some felt young and powerless, or ashamed, or they blamed themselves or just wanted to move on. Many felt reporting would do little good.

(Global News Article)

That’s an unfortunate fact of sexual assaults and one that has been the focus of change for years. However, things don’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

So why are assaults rarely reported in fictional novels?

While I’m a firm believer in letting fiction be fiction, I also think it can be a vehicle to start discussions. But I’m very alarmed by the  “letting it go without consequences” trend I’ve been reading in novels lately.

See, in the book I was reading when I was inspired to write this post, the girl gets assaulted at a club when the guy she was dancing with takes her outside. He started to undress her and it stops when a classmate walks back, causing a distraction. The “hero” does the right thing by using his phone to subtly call for help. In the end, the club manager arrives along with the police and asks is she wants to press charges. Her response is “no” because she 1) doesn’t like the attention it brings (which I understand because it is a part of the larger plot of the novel–even if I don’t necessarily agree with it) and 2) feels that the fact that there will be a police report (meaning the police showed up) is enough to prevent the assailant from doing it again.

Um Excuse Me?

No, it won’t. Because who’s to say the next time he tries something like that, the girl won’t feel the same and reach the same conclusion? Add to that, the fact you’ve just subjected another girl to the same horrible situation as you and this time, there might not be some “hero” to help save her.

And thus a cycle of abuse continues.

I can’t help but feel like this is normalizing the situation. It makes it seem like it is an event that you can easily portray as a one-off and forget. That isn’t the case at all. There are a ton of New Adult novels that focus on what sexual assault can do to a person’s psyche after the fact. There are a ton of real life stories too that remind us of that. Nor are you a hero for taking it in stride or letting him/her off the hook for their actions.

This isn’t to say that assault is always ignored in novels.

I can think of a few great examples I’ve read over the years. Deeper by Robin York focuses on a heroine who is trying to remove revenge porn her ex posted of her online via the legal system. Veronica Mars not only dedicates an entire TV season to a sexual assault storyline but it also has it as the focus in one of the spin-off novels as well. You Against Me by Jenny Downham focuses on the rape trial of the female lead’s brother against the male lead’s sister and the affect it has on everyone in their family and community as a result. But they seem to be few and far between lately.

In Conclusion:

I do understand that not all sexual assault cases are cut and dry. It’s easy to sit on the outside of the situation looking in and say “you should’ve done this or that” without being fully immersed in the situation. It’s a deeply personal situation.

However, I can’t help but feel that in the world of YA fiction–especially ones toted as realistic fiction–you should have the leads make those hard choices. Set an example for those younger minds who are reading these novels they probably relate to in some way or another. You don’t need to sugar coat the outcome; trials are hard for all parties involved. You don’t necessarily have to follow through in legal detail either. Just be a part of that movement to standardize consequences for your actions instead of just brushing them aside like it’s no big deal.

Because the reality is: it is a big deal and we need to treat it like that.

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Bookstr Amazon.ca Reviews Amazon.com Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Monthly Inventory: August 2017

August 2017

Where has the summer gone?

Normally at this time of year I’d be preparing to head back to school for the umpteenth time like many of you probably are. However, I’ve finally finished school (!) and am a productive member of society and it feels great.

Well, most of the time.

This August I really felt the struggle to keep up blogging and reading. There were days where I didn’t look at my blog and my reading was simply one chapter before I fell asleep. I felt like I was getting nothing done. Thankfully, I’ve got a great blogging schedule and had my posts for the summer scheduled wayyyy in advance so it looked like fresh content was always on the horizon.

So maybe I bit off more than I could chew for the month of August but I had a great time with the various readathons I participated in and blog hopping when I could.

September is going to be an interesting month. First, I’m taking 2 weeks of much deserved vacation at the end of the month (though I foresee very little reading time besides the flight). And second, I’ve decided to only read sequels for the month. More details on that below!

thoughts

Total for July 2017: 17 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

Last August: 17 Books Read + 27 Novellas

August 2017’s DNFs: 2 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Leave the Night On

When I learned that there would be a new books to the Cottonbloom Series, my summer was made! This series has everything I love in a solid adult romance and Trentham did not disappoint with this new sequel!

Biggest Let Down (★★ & DNF)

The Changeling

I think my 2 star rating is very generous considering I didn’t enjoy a single thing about this book. Have you ever read the synopsis and thought you were getting one story but when you started you get something else instead? The synopsis for this one was grossly misleading and the book itself was terribly dull. It’s a shame because the idea is really interesting–but who knew you could make it so boring?

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month (and compare it to last year’s numbers). While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, with Kobo’s latest update they’ve changed the way they calculate statistics and it has drastically altered mine. It seems like they only count Kobo books now for total # of books finished (they used to include the eBooks from the library that I would add). But for some reason, that has changed my total % complete as well. At least my total # of hours seems to have stayed.

As of:

August 31, 2017

August 31, 2016

Total % of Library Complete

10%

19%

Total # of Books Finished

124

500

Total # of Reading Hours

2418

2007

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: 8 of 25 Titles Read — DNF’d 1 title

September’s 5Y5B picks: The LoopMaid of Secrets

Goodreads Challenge: 21 books added
#ShelfLove Challenge: 5 TBR Items added

September’s #ShelfLove picks:  & Legacy

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 606 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of June: 611 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

thoughts

Make Me Read It: August 2017

I didn’t meet my goal this year of reading 4 books but I really enjoyed the ones I did get to! The ones that are sequels are on my list for my Sequel September plan.

Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire, #3) Phoenix (Black City, #2) Hitched: Volume One (Imperfect Love, #1)

ARC August

This was my first time participating in the classic summer event hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat and I really enjoyed it! I powered through these at the start of the month and only have two left for September so I call that a success! Here’s what I read:

Leave The Night On (Cottonbloom, #4) Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) His Ex's Little Sister (Insta-Love on the Run Book 1) The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries, #1)

Sequels for September!

When your blog is dedicated to book series, you keep an extra eye on what ones you have to finish and which ones need a little more attention. And lately, I’ve noticed I need to get some sequels under my belt! This summer, I’ve been really good at starting new series but not so great at finishing them. I’ve got quite a few series reviews in my draft folder just waiting to be finished and I have lots of Fresh Friday posts that need some updating.

So for the month of September, I’m only going to be reading sequel novels for series I have already started. Now, there are a few exceptions. I do have a standalone ARC I need to read this month and I will likely have to start a new series for audiobooks so I can entertain myself on the way to work. Otherwise, I’ll be taking a break from my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge so I can focus on getting those sequels read!


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

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

catchphrase

SERIESous Discussion: What is the Perfect Series Length?

DISperfectseries

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!


I think it’s pretty obvious that I enjoy book series.

And since I started my blog nearly 4 years ago, I’ve read lots of series with varying sequel lengths. For me, a series is anything with at least 2 books set in the same universe. Now, some authors write books within the same world but don’t classify them as the same series (like Until It’s Right by Jamie Howard or Everything Between Us by Mila Ferrera), leaving each to be a standalone. Basically, I go with whatever Goodreads tells me unless I’ve investigated further on the author’s webpage.

But I’ve started to wonder: is there a perfect length for a series?

When I first got serious about my reading 10 years ago, it seemed like a lot of series were 4 books in length (like the Hush, Hush Series by Becca Fitzpatrick or the Fallen Series by Lauren Kate). But then I read the Vampire Academy Series, which is 6 books, and decided that was the perfect number…

Until I read the Immortals Series by Alyson Noel and decided I could have done without 2 books in that 6 book series.

In the last two years, duologies have become my new favourite thing. From Hopeless by Colleen Hoover to The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel–I was totally onboard with these condensed and rich story lines.

So then I came to the conclusion: maybe it depends on the story trying to be told.

I’ve talked about what I call the “Book Two Slump of a Trilogy”. I wish I had a flashier name for it but I’m going to keep it simple. As per my Review Guide:

Book Two Slump of a Trilogy – where the sequel novel isn’t as exciting as the first book but is needed to progress the plot enough to set up the finale book of the series”

Basically, these books are needed to progress the story, but they can be absolute bores to read.

So could you remove that middle book and still have a positive outcome?

With the emergence of duologies, I’ve started to wonder if some trilogies really need to be trilogies. And I think the short answer is, no, not everything needs to be a trilogy. Of course, there are some really strong trilogies out there like The Red Rising Trilogy or The Winner’s Trilogy. Nevertheless, some stories could definitely be told in two books; maybe even one! There’s no need to spread it out over multiple sequels…

Besides money and marketing that is.

I get it though. I’m sure it’s easier to market a trilogy (or more sequels) to readers. You want to get the fan base that will go gaga whenever the next book is released. Because if you get people attached to the characters, they’ll come back for more and tell everyone about their love for this series.

I mean look at the slate of Pixar sequels to come in the next 3 years.

People love familiarity. It’s comforting.

But in the same breath, it also gets old real fast. And I think to a certain degree, it takes away from what it was before; especially if the newest editions are not of the same quality (like Syliva Day’s Crossfire Trilogy Series — talk about a series that didn’t need more than 3 books!).

I guess my point is: not everything needs to have multiple sequels for it to be successful.

Yeah, it would have been great if the Orphan Queen Series continued on for 5 more books in theory, but (IMHO) it would have really dampened the story. I think the Mythos Academy Series is a good example of that where the subsequent sequels started losing their excitement. Or even any of Sarah J Maas’ stories were the popularity has driven more sequels than original conceived and I think the series has suffered because of it.

My Conclusion: Strongly written stories last a lot longer than stretched out sagas that never seem to get to the point.

I’m looking at you Pretty Little Liars TV Series.

What do you think? What’s your perfect series length? Do you agree with me?

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

catchphrase

Monthly Inventory: July 2017

July 2017

Honestly, this month was a blur!

I feel like I was just posting my Canada Day 150 post for my favourite Canadian Authors and here I am, listing everything I did since! And I did a lot! You can find out more below.

One of the major highlights was officially scheduling my first post for the new year! It’s a little scary that I’ve run out of dates to post in 2017 but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve read a lot of standalone novels this year. Once I finish When Dimple Met Rishi in a few days, I’m only going to be reading novels that are part of series.

Also below, you will find my intro post to my first ever ARC August participation. While I told myself not to request a lot of ARCs this summer, I had a lot of opportunities for sequels and fav authors so I couldn’t resist. Oops

thoughts

Total for July 2017: 20 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

Last July: 17 Books Read

DNF’d: 3 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Everything, Everything

I was so charmed by this book and this story. I devoured it in one sitting.

Biggest Let Down (★★)

Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin

If this wasn’t the last book in the story arc, I would have DNF’d it. I thought this was so, so boring. It just lacked the shine to it the previous installment had (admittedly, that one is hard to top since ACOMAF was epic) and seemed like lots of talking, not so much action.

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month (and compare it to last year’s numbers). While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, with Kobo’s latest update they’ve changed the way they calculate statistics and it has drastically altered mine. It seems like they only count Kobo books now for total # of books finished (they used to include the eBooks from the library that I would add). But for some reason, that has changed my total % complete as well. At least my total # of hours seems to have stayed.

As of:

July 31, 2017

July 31, 2016

Total % of Library Complete

10%

18%

Total # of Books Finished

123

481

Total # of Reading Hours

2371

1951

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

-are getting married! (3)

Read-a-Thon: Make Me Read It Vote

Most Viewed Review

Single Sundays: Zenn Diagram

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: 8 of 25 Titles Read — DNF’d 1 title

August’s 5Y5B picks: The LoopMaid of Secrets

Goodreads Challenge: 24 books added
#ShelfLove Challenge: 6 TBR Items added

August’s #ShelfLove picks: Just Breathe & Legacy

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

August’s pick: finish Jane Eyre

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 611 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of June: 614 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

Here are some of my favourite posts that I’ve come across the past month (I found a LOT!):

thoughts

Make Me Read It: August 2017

There’s still time to vote for what books I should read for the upcoming readathon! My goal is to read 4 of the 10 books I’ve picked during the readathon (and the rest by the end of the year).

This Is So Not Happening (He's So/She's So, #3) The Savage Blue (The Vicious Deep #2) Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire, #3) Phoenix (Black City, #2) Across a Star-Swept Sea (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #2) Trust in Me (Wait for You, #1.5) Hitched: Volume One (Imperfect Love, #1) Derailed (Clayton Falls, #1) The Bet (The Bet, #1) Caught Up in Us (Caught Up in Love, #1)

Vote here!

ARC August

This will be my first time participating in the classic summer event hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat! I signed up for more ARCs than I should have but that’s what the summer is for right? I don’t have too many but I’d like to get the books slated for September release finished before September.

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

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

catchphrase

SERIESous Discussion: How I Fell in Love with Audiobooks

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!


My first venture into audiobooks didn’t happen in 2017 nor 2016. I had actually tried to listen to audiobooks nearly 7 years ago when I had to commute to my summer job.

It failed miserably.

When I started my new job this year–and subsequently a 1 hour driving commute each way–I wanted to make the drive productive and decided audiobooks were the best way. If I couldn’t physically read my book, why not listen to it instead?

After my failed attempt in the summer of 2011 to listen to YA fiction, I knew that I had to start with a different genre. Last year, I did start to listen to nonfiction audiobooks, specifically celebrity memoirs, and had great success. But I never breached the fiction world.

See, nonfiction worked for me for quite a few reasons:

  1. I could miss a few lines here and there and not miss out entirely on the plot
  2. It helped conditioned me to the listening/narrating aspect of books
  3. The narrators were (usually) people I was familiar with and liked as entertainers

But there are only so many nonfiction and celebrity memoirs that a girl can be interested in. I wanted to make the jump into fiction so that I could get some of those TBR titles off my never ending list. (Also, it would keep me distraction free while driving. I cannot stand listening to commercials on the radio and am constantly scanning for songs).

Deciding on that first title to read was a big step for me. It had to be the right novel. I didn’t want something overly complicated in plot nor one with too much detail where I would zone out and miss that vital plot piece.

So that ruled out fantasies or dystopian novels for the time being…

I then decided that a contemporary novel would be a good idea. I love romances but the idea of someone narrating a sex scene to me in my car made me feel iky.

So there went the romances…

At the time I started my job, adult mystery/thrillers were my current obsession and so I thought that would be good approach. They’re suspenseful, they often lack complicated world building and rarely have detailed sex scenes.

And that’s when inspiration hit!

One of the reasons I loved my nonfiction books was the celebrity narrator. Knowing the narrator and their style helped get me acquainted with the narration. For example, as a fan of The Colbert Report, it was super easy for me to enjoy Stephen Colbert’s America Again and understand the humour.

When it came to fiction, I knew that sometimes actors and other celebrities narrated fiction novels. And that’s when I thought about the Veronica Mars novels.

The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)

This was the perfect choice for a few reasons:

  1. These books were set in a world I was already familiar with
  2. Featured characters I loved
  3. Were based around a mystery
  4. And the best part: the first novel is narrated by Kristen Bell!

You can read my full review of the series here but I’ll just say that I absolutely loved every minute!

Listening to this series helped me to get used to the delivery of fiction audiobooks.

For example: only having one narrator doing the voices for all the character dialogue. One of the reasons I failed all those years ago was that I couldn’t keep myself from laughing during the audiobook version of Uncommon Criminals, where the female narrator tried to do Hal’s voice. It just sounded so ridiculous to me. It also helped me adjust to following multiple plot lines by simply hearing the plot developments as opposed to reading the words with my own eyes.

I sometimes struggle with written humour in novels. The greatest example of that is with Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. I DNF’d the actual novel because I didn’t find it funny; but when I listened to the audiobook (that Mindy herself narrates), it became a 5 star read. Sometimes, I need the audio delivery of the sarcasm and wit to get the humour.

Which is why my next audiobook experience was AMAZING! I honestly believe I enjoyed Simon vs the Homo Sapian Agenda way more by listening to it than I would have by just reading it. The narrator’s dictation was perfection and something I think I would have failed to capture just by reading the text myself.

So after these three novels, I was in love with the audiobook experience! Not only do they make my drive go faster, but they also help me enjoy books in a way I was completely missing out on before.

And the best part is that I’ve started integrating them into my everyday reading habits. If you’re my friend on Goodreads (add me here!), you’ll see I always have (at least) 3 books in my “Currently Reading” section. Now, one of those books is the audiobook I’m listening to. I’ve even started listening to whole series through audio versions and love it!

It makes me wish that I was successful 7 years ago. Imagine the series I would have finished by now!

Do you read audiobooks? Any tips? Share your experience below!

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Bookstr Amazon.ca Reviews Amazon.com Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase