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!




Books, Reading

September wrap up/book haul

Whoops, late again for another wrap up post. But it’s been a crazy and weird start to fall. Basically what happened in September (besides me totally not reading as much as I wanted to) was I got a second job, at Barnes and Noble. (I’m there all the time anyway and when the manager asked if I would be interested in getting a part-time job there, I had to bite my tongue to not scream out “YES PLEASE!” because I love working in a bookstore.)

So that happened, and with my weekends filled up thanks to that, and most of my evenings as well, this month I only read 19 books. Now that might not seem like a bad thing to most people, but my goal was 28 books; which was set before the job but still, failure here.

I did #SequelSeptember last month as well, and even though I didn’t get to any of the NEW sequels, which was actually kind of the point, I did manage to reread 6 books (5 that had sequels). The rest were new, but also were library books. So last month I didn’t make a dent in any of my TBR monster named Steve.

This month I also tried to take a pic of every single book I read, which was actually pretty fun and I’ll be continuing that this next month! (Plus it makes my post all pretty with pictures! (I’m not sure if I’ll show every pic for this month, or just a few highlights)



~Best: (4-5 star rating)~


Of my 4-5 star reads this month, only 2 were brand new to me: Around the world in 80 Days (which is actually now a new favorite) and the Attributes of God (again, a new favorite). The rest were rereads: Mere Christianity was the only reread that I read this month that was a stand-alone, everything else was a sequel/first of a series.



~Okayish(2.75-3.75 star rating)~


All of these were interesting, but not fully worth the full 4 stars (the road back to you I think I gave a 4 star, but it was more like a 3.75) There were some problems with all of them. Mostly it was the characters that got me in the end, in a Darkness Strange and lovely the main character swapped what character growth she had made in the first one, which made me not very happy. The weight of ink didn’t really know what tone it wanted to take with this historical fiction. And the Thief Lord was an interesting read but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something missing because it seemed to read like 2 different plot ideas, and was rather loose on what should be happening/too many characters to really care about.

(not pictured: what Jesus demands from the world. It was a good book but it seemed to drag on for a long period)


~Skip! (1-2 star rating)~

All of these had major problems mostly with the plot and the characters. Book of speculation tried too hard to be magical realism; Beastkeeper had absolutely NO CLUE what the story was or what they really wanted to do with the “plot” (of which there was none); spellbook of the lost and found also tried too hard to be magical realism but just pretty much lost all of it when the author tried to tie it together. And honestly, I don’t like Shel Silverstein’s writing style at all.

(Not pictured: welcome to nightvale and words in deep blue. WTNV was super boring and not at all like the podcast. Words in deep blue was a huge disappointment by not having deep characters, a good plot or any sort of conflict.)

~Book Haul this month~


Look at all these pretties!! Ok, so this month I ended up purchasing/receiving 10 books.

Hunting Prince Dracula, WonderWoman:Warbringer and Enchantment of Ravens were all pre-orders (we aren’t going to talk if I’ve read those yet or not), I bought Americanah and Station Eleven because I’ve heard really good things about them. I found the Goldfinch in our bargain section at work for $6, with my discount came down to $3 (and I couldn’t beat that) and I got Language of the Thorns because it was autographed and a total impulse buy.

The Color Project is actually the replacement copy because there were some issues in the production and those of us who preordered got an ARC, so this was a replacement copy. And Gypsy Moth Summer and the Lost Letter were books I won in a giveaway in May, and finally received at the start of summer.

So that was my month of September. I’m hoping for October to do more reading of my TBR but I’m not sure if that will happen or not.

How was y’all’s month of reading? What was your best book you read? What was the worst? Let me know below!

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


Books, Reading

You probably won’t like this…

I have been known to destroy books.

Not like ripping out pages or burning them or using them for modge-podge crafts or whatever.

Nope. I, a well known booknerd, someone who doesn’t like people borrowing her books, have done such evils as:

*Cracking the spines on paperbacks or hardcovers

*Dog-earring because I couldn’t find something to shove in it to save my place

*Splaying open the book also because I couldn’t find something to mark it

*highlighting several passages (so many all the time)

*making notes/writing in a book

*doodling on a page or two because I was on the phone and couldn’t get to a notebook

*accidentally dropping it in the ocean (I found it and it was saved but it did happen)


The reason I’m telling you this? A couple of days ago someone posted a link to an article titled “11 things that will make bookworms angry” and every single one of them was about messing up the pages or writing in the books or cracking the spines. None of them were about the price, or the fact that some of the books are printed so cheaply that we cannot even shut them hard because the main cover falls off or about the stickers on books which are horrid to remove.

Nope, apparently what makes us angry as booknerds, is seeing someone mistreat their own property.

Which got me into a rabbit hole of thinking because when I was first becoming a lovely reader, I would frequent garage sales and thrift stores and library sales. I would scour the bookstore for the wonderful signs stating “Buy one get one free” because score, I get two books! Even when I started venturing into Borders (Oh I miss that place) I would still go for the massmarket paperbacks because they were under $6.00, so I could get about three of them at a time.

And to me, it didn’t matter if they became marked up and slammed back and forth in my bag, those marks were marks showing that I loved them and they were also recipients of my love.


However, ever since I started doing my Bookstagram, I have noticed that pristine pictures of books have gotten better likes (well, as many as they can with that algorithm) and for some reason this has made me want to make sure that my books are perfect. That no visible scratch or dent or mark is showing and that the cover is gorgeous.

But does it really matter? I mean, the main reason I started falling in love with the cardboard and paste and glue and paper and ink was because of the stories that were inside it, not because they were “aesthetically pleasing” or “looked nice on my shelves” (though I won’t lie, it does make me happy when they look nice on there).

I actually like the look of used books better. I feel like there’s a connection between me and the person who read it last, a thin thread that we like the same book or the same author and for a brief moment in time and space were on the same page. That makes me happy.

I have friends on both ends of the spectrum. Friends who bend their covers of the books and all their books look second-hand (even if they were just bought that morning) and friends who have libraries that look like they were just unwrapped from the publishing. And that’s okay.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to want to keep your books pristine, if that’s what you want.

Or crack those spines if you want.

What I am saying is that maybe we could stop judging other booknerds for how they read books. People have different ways of showing love, and we need to be okay with that. You might not think that someone is a “real” bookish person because of how they do or don’t handle their books, but in reality, if we are reading, they we are all booknerds. We all love the same thing, words that transport us to a different time and space.


~To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books (Carlos Maria Dominguez)

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