monthly wrap up, Reading, StephReads2018

January 2018 wrap up (well, I’m late)

Hello fellow booknerds!

So I’m not really sure what happened to the month of February, but seeing as it ends tomorrow (!?!) I thought it would be about time to wrap up January. Yes, I am a whole month and some odd days behind on where I want to be, but on the nice part, that means that during March, you might just get more than one post. (I really am going to try to get better at updating, pinky promise)

So back to January….which was a definitely good reading month for me. But before I start getting into the pics of what I read and what I thought,I wanted to share how I’m doing on my bookish goals:

*2018 goals*

-Read 200 books this year (50 reread, 100 mine/new, 50 library): I read 31 books in January so I think this is one that I will have no problem accomplishing.

-Read 85,000 pages this year: This is a new goal that I decided to start in February because I am joining up with some of my friends that are tracking pages not just books. (I mean I’ll be the first to admit there is something about reading books that are huge but they don’t count for anything more then just one book…so yeah) I read 8,145 pages in January, so this is one that should be pretty good for me too.

-Read all of Charles Dickens works by 2019: This is something that was a slight goal of mine last year but I didn’t get to read all of them, so I’m giving myself one more year to get through them. I’ve read so far, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, the Pickwick Papers and a Christmas Carol. I’ve got Great Expectations warming up on my TBR shelf and will probably get the rest as I go on through the year.

-Read at least one non-fiction book per month: I actually read 3 non-fiction last month so again, a goal that should be easily filled by the end of the year.

-Read at least six books where the author is from outside of the US/is translated from a different language: I read 3 books in January where the author was from a different place, and one that was translated from French. This one takes a bit more to decode and I kinda like the mystery of finding out where an author is from.

So now, with that out of the way: To the books!!

In January I read 31 books, how I’m not exactly sure, I think witchcraft might be involved in some way. I also participated in the #24in48 readathon, which I completed with having read 14 hours and read 6 books I think? (I really can’t remember, it started blurring all together)



~The Great (4.25 stars and above)~


The majority of these were rereads this month. And honestly I’m ok with that. I would rather reread a fabulous story then get a meh book, which is happening with alarming regularity, and I’m not alright with that.


~The Pretty Good (3 to 4 stars)~


(Realizing that next month I’ll have to separate the 3 and 4 stars because there is a vast difference between “I really enjoyed this and it was something I would recommend” to “it’s ok and I finished it but there wasn’t much else there” But I’m not doing that tonight because…no…)

Also I’m noticing that my 3 stars are always right on the fence. There are 2 of the books up there that I could easily be talked into as a 2 but I decided to go with a 3. So, yet another reason for me to separate the 3 and 4 stars next month.

~The Meh (2-2.75 star rating)~


There are some on there that A LOT of people recommended me to read, stating that I would love them, and sadly…I didn’t. These books got the 2 star rating because they were boring. Or dull. Or too cliche. Or pointless. Or there was no plot. Or too much of one. Basically they weren’t written well enough to rate above a 2 but they weren’t the worst either at below. These books are just ones that aren’t worth it.


~The Hard Pass (Anything below a 2 star)~


Nope. These books failed me in so many ways.

-The sacred lies of Minnow Bly-This was a book about a girl caught in a cult, who ends up in jail. And I actually should have DNF’d this book because those are 2 things that I’m not into at all. It was graphic and disgusting and I want to really know if the person who designed the cover even read the book because Minnow HAS NO HANDS, and this is something that bugged me through the ENTIRE book when I would look at the cover.

-Brooding YA hero-this had SO MUCH potential. I was hoping that it would be snarky and sassy and hilarious. Instead what I got was…dull and excruciating boredom. Pages about shallow self-adsorbed jerks who I couldn’t care less about. The twitter feed is hilarious…but when you stretch those 280 characters into a full book, yeah the humor is pretty much non-existent.

-Fly on the wall- It’s a retelling of Metamorphosis about a girl who wishes she was a fly on the wall of the guys locker room. And it happens. (I don’t know why because it was never explained, ever). And this is one of the absolute WORST books I’ve read in the entire time that I have read YA. This girl not only becomes a fly but decides to basically become the worst type of voyeur ever. Like I’m talking she went on for almost 15 chapters about the differences between guys “gherkins” (I am not making that up, the author had EVERYONE calling the guys junk “gherkins” and the girls chests “muffins”; like seriously??) this book was disgusting and pointless.



So that’s all the books I read this past month! How is your reading going this year so far? What books have you read that you loved? Hated? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great night and remember, life is too short to read mediocre books!


Books, Reading, StephReads2018

Reasons BookNerds need large TBR’s

One thing I’ve noticed with being in the bookish community is that right around this time of year we all start thinking about our large/huge/mountianious TBR’s that we have. And it doesn’t help that most of the publishers want to see us die a slow and painful death and therefore make sure we either have this lofty goal of “zero by whatever” or getting rid of a lot of our books. (Nothing at all against getting rid of books that you are no longer excited for or that you are going to rebuy-I literally just did that this past month and got rid of over 30 books, and it was so freeing!)


But with the new year, a lot of people like to start things fresh. They want to have that blank space (cue some old T-Swift y’all) to really do some great reading, or get to some of their backlist books (I’m all about that! Most of my books this year that I’m going to be reading are from 2017 and prior)

And one of the most asked questions I get is “Why don’t you get rid of all your books? How are you going to read all these books? Maybe you should stop buying books”

And since hurting people (outside of my novel) is kinda frowned upon, this is my response to why BookNerds need a large TBR: (Enjoy!)

-We are mood readers. Which means that we will read what we want when we feel like it. There are so many times when I start several books trying to figure out what my mood is, and once I find it (usually from my TBR) I am so happy when I find it! And mood readers really don’t go with set TBR’s, instead we tend to set a “tentative” TBR meaning it will change when we want.



-Comfort. There is a level of satisfaction  we get when we look at our bookshelves that are arranged how we want and we are surrounded by books. My worst day is always improved by me coming in my room and looking at my beautiful shelves.

-There is such a thing as free shipping. Of course you do have to pay for a few extra books to get it, but dude, FREE SHIPPING to a bookworm translates as “WE WILL PAY YOU TO GET 2 MORE BOOKS” and of course we do, because if there’s one thing we know is we have very low self control.

-Cousins to the free shipping, is the booksales. Buy 2 get one free, well, why not? I mean, basically you are getting a free book so you might as well right?



-If something happens and you have to stay barricaded in your room for weeks on end, such as the zombie apocalypse or a snowstorm, you never run out of things to do. TV and phones require electricity, and if you are like most bookworms you have a plethora of candles so therefore you will still be able to read!



-Cover love is a real thing and how most of my TBR grows.

-There might not be books you touch for YEARS (totally true story, I legit just finished a book I have had on my TBR for 4 years this past month and it became one of my new favorites!!) and in that case it is such a great satisfaction that you can look at it and smile, knowing you beat the book, not the other way around.

-Sometimes in your huge TBR you discover new favorites. I know for me, when I shop on BookOutlet I know next to NOTHING about say 98% of the books I buy, but when I read them, they turn into some of my most read and most loved books. (Actually I go into most books blind because when I’ve read the synopsis that usually spoils me for it)

-Most of my friends are talking about it, and all of the things that they say are amazing and therefore instead of just chancing it at the library (though I do that a bit too) I basically buy it if I find it pretty cheap, because…why not? (again I have very little self control when it comes to books)




-I’m determined that 2018 is the year I turn into an actual BookDragon, and like any good Dragon, I need a shiny hoard to keep and sleep in, gold is really uncomfortable so therefore I need some new shiny books to sleep with and near and under….and shoot just build me a little book igloo. I can sleep in there. (as long as there’s a blanket and pillow because even though I’m trying to be a Dragon, I do want some comfort)

So those are some of the reasons that BookNerds need a large TBR. What do y’all think? Where do you fall in the TBR scale? Do you hoard them, or release them? Do you have a large TBR?

Have a great day Dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!



Books, Reading, StephReads2018

2017 wrap up (oh my guys)

Y’all….this year seemed to fly by. And while a lot of people seem to be ready for 2017 to disappear, I can’t say I share that sentiment. Yes, this past year was hard, it was difficult at times. But because of the hardness and the difficulties I learned so much more than I would have if it had been an easier smoother year.

But I’m here to talk nerdy to y’all. Such as book stats! Yay!


Books Read: 258

New to me books: 204

Books I reread: 49

Now this might look pretty impressive, but when I looked further down my stats, I realized 2 things, the first being that I had only read 64 new to me books that I owned. So how did I come up with 204? Easy, I read 143 books from the library. Which is still pretty impressive, but not exactly helpful when it comes to my TBR that I own.

Of the books that I checked out of the library, 13 were so good that I bought them for myself. Which again, nothing against my library, it helped save me tons of money because if I had bought those books and not liked all of them, I would have been out of luck.

The other thing that I noticed is that I have a tendency to not read my own physical books because I have library books that actually have a due date on them and so I should read them first.



This was my best year reading for a while. Over the past 5 years, I have logged what books I have read, what books I have reread and this is the highest number of books that I have logged since 2013. (For those of you who are curious- 2013= 98 books read; 2014= 131 books read; 2015= 149 books read; 2016= 165 books read)

However, my average rating for these books has dropped a bit. According to Goodreads, my average rating of a book was 2.9 stars, whereas last year it was 3.8, and the year before that was 4.1. So even though I’m reading more books, the quality of the books is decreasing.

Now I know some of you will be like “Well just set your goal to 1 book then and that way you can read more of what you like” but the problem is with that, when I beat my goal for Goodreads, I lose all interest in trying to keep up with it more. For example this year, I beat my first original goal of 125 in May. So I changed it. And beat it again. And changed it to 200. And I beat that in November, and then decided I just didn’t really care if I read or not because I had already beaten my goal.

So I am one of those people that the goals actually work really well for me. And speaking of Goals, let’s talk about my 2018 goals.


                                    ~2018 Bookish Goals~

1-Read 200 books.  This actually figures out to be about 16 books per month, which is actually pretty doable. (Most of my months average between 15-20 books anyway)

-> This breaks down to me reading 100 new/owned books; 50 rereads and 50 from the library. That way I’m not overwhelming my physical TBR status.

2- Take a photo of each book I read this year and post it on my twitter thread.  This was something I started last October, and I really enjoyed seeing all those photos of books that I had read. So I figured I might as well do that for the whole year, which is crazy but also sounds fun.

3-Post on here at least 2xs per week. I have gotten better at posting but I do want to become consistent with the posting. I can’t tell you what day I’ll be posting but my goal is to do it at least twice a week, which should be doable.

4-Read one non-fiction book per month. This is just to remind me that there is more to the world then YA fantasy. So this could be something about someone, about a place or about a time in history. I’m not putting a limit on this, but I want to read more intently.

5- Read at least 6 books where the author is not from the US in this year. Again, I want to read with more intention. This is a personal challenge for me, where I feel like just because I’m in the US, I read mostly US authors. And while that’s good, it’s also something that I need to learn to not gravitate towards.

6- complete the SOS and Beat The Backlist challenges. 

7-try to post to Bookstagram at least 4 times per week. There are some things that cannot be avoided and one of them is I can’t do a photo challenge every single day of the week, mainly because I tend to get burned out but also because I don’t like doing that much pressure on myself. So 4 times is doable. Hopefully.


So yeah, those are my bookish goals at least for 2018. What about y’all? What challenges have you set up for yourself? What goals are you going to implement? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day Dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!


31DaysofBlogmas, monthly wrap up, Reading

November Wrap-Up!!

So…it’s actually December. Which is funny because on one hand I’m already starting to plan my January TBR and my 2018 bookish goals, but at the same time is slightly scary because Oh MY WORD THE YEAR IS ALMOST OVER AND I HAVE SO MUCH LEFT TO DO!!

And yet the universe is not listening to my cries of despair or my pleas for a TARDIS, so I guess the next best thing is to talk about the books that I read this past month. Yes, good plan! (kinda.)


Somehow I managed to read 15 books this month, which considering my goal was 10, I am glad I read more then I thought. (Never mind the fact that I completely failed NaNoWriMo, I read more than I thought! Gold star for me!)


New (to me) : fourteen

Reread: one

From my personal library: four (three new, one reread)

Ones from the library I might buy: two, possibility three.

~The Great~ (4.25 stars and above)

I have been kinda strict about handing out 5 star ratings lately. And yet somehow this month I managed to read THREE 5 star books! I feel like the balance has been restored somehow in the universe! The 5 star books I read were: Dance, Stand, Run; Every bitter thing is sweet; and the Last Namsara.

Mr. Darcy’s Diary and Harry Potter both got a 4.25 star rating from me.

All these good books were spread out through out the whole month, which was kinda nice so I wasn’t thrown from one awesome book to another, but it was also kinda hard because I felt like my reading switched sides so many times- from really incredible books to books that were just…meh… and that’s hard to have those ranges in emotions so quickly.


~ The Really Good ~ (3 to 4 stars)

The Disappearances and  Real Artists Don’t Starve both got a solid 4 star rating, very well done.

Out of the Silent Planet and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies both got a 3.5 star rating. I thought they were both well written and highly creative *(side note: I finally saw P&P&Z movie and it was absolutely hilarious, just saying)*

Wild Bird and The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole were both a solid 3 star. Wild bird was actually sitting at about a 2 star but the character arc that happened towards the end pushed it up a full star. And the Black Hole was a really good book about grief and how to grieve for kids (it was a mg), highly recommend if a kid you know is going through a rough patch.


~ The Meh~ (Below a 3 star rating)


Man…I had such high hopes for all these books. But sadly, not a single one of them lived up to my expectations. On the bright side, I didn’t buy any of these, so I didn’t waste my money at all, just time and driving from the library. 🙂

I had heard so many good things about the Sculptor, but I felt like it was just boring, bleh and pretty narcissistic. I felt like it might have done better if maybe it was written more coherently or maybe from a different angle? The art was…pretty good…I guess? (It was a graphic novel.)

Refrigerator Monologues was one I had heard was like “anti” super heroes and about the girls saving the day…which was so not true it’s not even funny. It’s actually a collection of short stories all woven together, and they were without a doubt- boring, repetitive and depressing. I was prepared for a “strong girls kick butt” story, not several monologues about how the men were disappointing or didn’t save them or whatever. I really wasn’t paying attention towards the end, and I was mainly disappointed because I love this author’s previous works.

See what I have done was portrayed to me as a grisly account of what Lizzie Borden did to her dad and stepdad (Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her father forty whacks, and when she saw what she had done, she gave her mother 41) but in truth, it was told confusingly, had extremely graphic portrayals of vomit and rotting meat (so. much. disgusting. awful. descriptions of this) and was so very boring. How you can manage to make a narrative of a case that was never actually solved, where Lizzie not only went to prison but then was allowed to go free in a case where people still aren’t sure if she did it or not; and turn it into one of the most boring and disgusting books ever, I’m not sure. But seriously, don’t read this while eating. In fact, just don’t eat while reading this book, you’ll thank me if you decide to read this.


Anyways, how was your month of reading? Did y’all get to any that you wanted to or any that were high on your list? What books were some disappointments for you? Let me know below!

~Remember, life is too short for mediocre books!


31DaysofBlogmas, Reading

5 books I still haven’t finished…

I have a bad habit of buying books, setting them on the shelves that are in my room and telling them I will get to them soon.

Then completely 100 % forgetting about them and buying new books. And repeat.

The only thing that breaks up this cycle is that I will start some books, and get about half-way through and then set them down, fully intending to finish them soon, but I get distracted and start reading something else. And then you can press repeat on this situation. (seriously)

FullSizeRender (1)

So I thought I would talk about some of the books that I’ve half-started but actually haven’t finished yet. These are in no particular order just how I grabbed them off my “partially read” shelf.

1-The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I don’t know why I haven’t finished this one yet. I started it in September I think, and I fell so deep in love with her writing style and the story being told, and it was fantastic. But I just set it down, hoping to get back to it, but I still haven’t gotten back to it. It actually sits on my nightstand, shaming me to wondering how I haven’t finished it yet.

2-I believe in a thing called love by Maureen Goo. I know why I stopped reading this, it was because of the horrid second-hand embarrassment that I felt about the MC and what she was going through, so I’ve heard that it was really cute but I was so embarrassed for her I couldn’t complete it 🙂

3- Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco.                                                                            This is simply because I haven’t had the time toIMG_1519 keep going after this one. I love the writing and the characters of them, but this sequel seems to be a bit harder for me to get into, but I do want to get this one finished


4- Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter. Granted this is a reread and I do slightly remember it, but I like to reread books before I complete series. And since the Dire King, which I preordered, and got, back in August….and still haven’t read.


5-That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston. Being honest, the reason I set this one down is because I am not really excited about how the writing style/plot/characters are. I was really excited about this because…cover….let’s be real. But it is slightly….boring? I’m hoping it will actually get better as I finish but I just haven’t yet.


What are some of the books you want to read before the end of the year? Which ones should I push higher up on the priority? Let me know down below!

Remember, life is too short for mediocre books!




31DaysofBlogmas, Books

10 ways my reading habits have changed this year

Hello friends and welcome to my journey of blogging every day for December! Today I’m going to be talking about how my reading really has changed this year. (I was completely inspired by PaperFury’s blog post about how her writing style has changed, check it out here)

I used to be the person who would not only finish every. single. book I would start, but also give super high ratings to every single book that make me laugh. (Kid you not, when I have been going back and rereading some of these books, I shake my head and have to take down a star or two because past Stephanie threw those stars around like it was nothing!) And that made me think how much I have changed in the past year or so with my reading habits, I mean if ratings can change over the years, so have other things.

So in no particular order, these are some of the ways that my reading has changed over the past year.


1- I have given myself full and absolute permission to DNF (do not finish) a book if I hate it. Or if I’m bored. Or if I just really don’t care. I have basically allowed myself to make reading fun again, because when I’m struggling through a book, it’s not fun. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of fun.

2- I have become much stricter on how I rate books. So instead of squeeing with delight at finding “A NEW ABSOLUTE MUST READ, THIS BOOK IS SO FANTASTIC ALL THE STARS”  like past Stephanie wrote on many Goodreads posts, (like girl just chill a bit) instead I try to read them critically. (Sometimes this process works, sometimes I still squee and flail) But for the most part I question, “Is this book really worth a full 5 star rating? Was there any parts that really irritated you or annoyed you or didn’t flow? Should it be more a 4 or 4.5?” and I go from there. Sometimes even the things that annoy me are still part of the strongest book, and other times they are the reason that it drops.

3- I have utilized my library SO MUCH more than I have in previous years. Pretty much every single Monday I have trounced over to the library, picked up my holds, dropped off books and happily made my way home where I have found either new favorites or a thankful heart (and wallet) that I haven’t spent money on this book because meh.


4- I have found myself gravitating more towards annotating books and highlighting passages in them again. I try not to do this with books I’m unsure about, but the books I know I’m going to love and going to read, over and over again, I completely mark up. I figure honestly, if like 90 years down the road and I haven’t discovered the cure for mortality and someone is going through my books, I want them to find things out about me, like what my favorite passages were or what quotes stuck with me.

5- I have employed the “try the first chapter” method to a lot of these books that I’ve checked out from the library, simply because in deference to the first part, I am allowing myself to DNF (without feeling guilty) and I know what I like. If a character’s tone or the way things unfold are things I don’t like, I now don’t feel guilty for just tossing it in the reject pile. There are some rare times when I just keep going on in the book, hoping that it will change, but sadly it usually doesn’t.

6- I also have stopped reading a lot of the books that people have recommended to me. Or that I have seen on Booktube. Like I still might think about them, and probably get them from the library, but on a whole, I don’t rush out and get them right away because I have found that over hyped books tend to be ones that I dislike (or at least wish I had checked out from the library). So I either wait for the hype to go down, or I read books that are less hyped. This helps me in 2 ways, the first that I can actually read without so much emotion attached to the book and that the book is available easier from the library when you wait a bit. 🙂

7- While I am still a bookdragon who would prefer going into books blind (without knowing much about them at all) because the synopsis usually spoils me for the book, there is something to looking up the reviews on Goodreads. If I’m struggling to get into a book or trying to finish something and just not really feeling it, I’ll check my fellow readers reviews of this book to see if it’s just me or if there are others who feel the same way. If it’s getting only high reviews, I know it’s just me, but if it’s not, then I know it’s actually the book. Sometimes that will actually help me finish the book.


8- With a few exceptions, I have decided that if I was only mediocre about liking an author’s work, I will not purchase it until I have tried it first from the library. That way I’m not set up for a huge disappointment when I start reading it and it’s just not great. I’ll still give them a chance but I decided that it’s really wasting my money to buy a book that I’m not sure I’ll like or not (especially since I probably wasn’t full on board with their last book I read) This isn’t an isolated incident: I can literally point to 6 different authors that I was “meh” about their previous works and still ended up buying their newest works…and regretting it deeply.

9- Every 6 or so months I have been looking through my shelves. What are some books I haven’t read yet/lost all enthusiasm for/probably will not get to this year (or ever)? I sort out those books and then set them off to the side for one month. When that month is done, if I haven’t read them, they get donated. But if I have read them, they get to stay on my shelf. (Unless it was like a 2.5 star rating or under and then they go). I used to never do this, and my shelves and TBR were pretty much out of control. I just don’t want to waste shelf space on books I know I won’t reread or read for the first time.

10- I have made it more of a goal to reread a set amount of books per year. I love rereading old favorites or falling back into slightly new worlds, discovering why they might just make my list of new favorite books. There’s just something about rereading that I love. In the past I would just try and reread certain books and that’s it. But this year I decided that I wanted to reread at least a third of all the books I read this year. This has helped me so much, and as an added bonus because I have put this into my goals list, I don’t feel guilty by rereading books, even when I have a TBR pile that is massive. It’s like because it’s a goal, my brain relaxes and even comments that I should reread more books.



So that’s 10 different ways my reading habits have changed this year. Do you do any of these? Or has your reading changed in the past couple of years? Let me know below!

Happy reading Dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!


31DaysofBlogmas, Books

The Start of my #31DaysofBlogmas journey (And why I’m doing this)

Hello friends!

So if you have been following me for a while, you know I’m not the best at keeping up with my blog, and I have lapses in which I write for a few times and then forget about writing for like a month.


I was reading ‘Real Artist’s don’t Starve’ and one of the chapters talked about how you should practice your art in public, which went on to explain that what it meant by that is that if you wait till the perfect time and place for you to showcase your art or passion, you will end up without anything. *Side note, this book is one I’m highly recommending now to everyone even if you aren’t creative because it was so good!*

And I started thinking about that. About how I call myself a writer but the only real writing that y’all might see me do is on here every now and then, while I keep all my passion and words of my novels I’m working on locked deep inside and away from any sort of public criticism. Which honestly makes me laugh now that I’m thinking of it.

I mean, I want to enter in one of the professions where people make it a job to tell you precisely why they hated your book or why they thought this was horrid, and yet I can barely stand to show my work off?

Which pushed me to my decision.

For the 31 days of December, which I’m tagging as #31DaysofBlogmas I will be writing in here, every single day.

Will I fail? Oh most likely.

Will I have some posts that will be all pictures and barely any words? Yes.

But will I try to do this? Yep.


Yeah, so this is my plan, and I’m hoping that I can at least finish 20 out of the 31 days, which would make me happy, if I finish all of them, well maybe I’ll reward myself with more books 🙂

Happy reading Dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!